Petra Veintimilla, the youngest member of Oliver Town council, was super busy in 2017, and expects the same in the new year.
Here, she takes time out of her busy schedule to answers the Chronicle’s questions.
Q: Looking back, what is your 2017 highlight?
A: In what I think many will agree was one of the greatest accomplishments of council, we went from initial conversations with a interested hotelier to having a shovel in the ground in less than 12 months, with the promise of a new hotel opening in Oliver’s centre by this summer. This new hotel will not be taking up the entire space that previously housed Centennial Park; there is still a section of land remaining and I would like to see us ensure that it will become and remain public parkland for future generations to enjoy.
The Towns of Oliver and Osoyoos have tossed around the idea of an indoor aquatic facility for a few years, and this year was the year that we were able to successfully bring all of the potential partners to the table to agree on jointly funding a feasibility study to look into such a facility. This is something that I am very proud to have been a part of; it is very exciting to have four levels of government (five funding partners) working together on a project that would benefit the entire South Okanagan. Of course, time and the feasibility study will tell if an indoor aquatic facility is something that the residents of the South Okanagan are able to support, but I very much look forward to continuing the dialogue and seeing where this ends up in the not too distant future.
Q: What made you sad in 2017?
A: I was sad to see Councillor Bennest step down from his position this past September. I feel quite privileged to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from him during my first three years on council. This new year brings with it a new councillor for me to get acquainted with – I am the only one presently at the council table who has not had the pleasure of working with Councillor Dave Mattes, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the team over the next year.
Q: Any personal resolutions or predictions in 2018?
A: I unfortunately do not have any New Year’s resolutions or crystal ball predictions to share – I’m too boring for either of those!
Q: Got a good joke to share?
A: Let’s see… why is the pepper so annoying? Because it gets jalapeno business! Or how about this? A friend of mine was recently crushed by a pile of books. But he’s only got his shelf to blame.
Honestly that’s the best I’ve got, and I can’t even claim either of those as my own!