We recently interviewed the newest additions to City Council—Karen Rea, Amanda Collucci, and Nirmala Armstrong—to get their thoughts on transitioning into their new roles, as well as to get to know them on a personal level. In this first installment of a two-part article, you’ll meet Councillor Rea, whose ward (Ward 4) is also a recent addition to the City of Markham.
Why did you become a city councillor? After attending so many meetings, I thought I could make some positive changes and bring a new perspective and some fresh ideas to Council with putting the residents as a priority.
Is the role of councillor what you perceived it to be? What has been different or even a surprise? I attended all the standing committee and council meetings prior to the election for two years, so I thought I had a good idea on what it would be like. There are many more meetings internally than expected and hundreds of emails that I receive weekly from residents, all who need help in solving a variety of issues. It was a surprise as to the volume of work that needs to be done.
What do you find rewarding about your position? Helping residents resolve their issues and putting forward ideas or policy changes to protect and engage residents in the community that they live in.
What are the biggest challenge that you face in your position? Time – There never seems to be enough hours in the day.
What is your favourite quote/motto? Believe you can do something or not and you will be correct every time.
What do you do to unwind from a hectic day? Kickboxing.
What is your favourite day of the week? Sunday.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I like to travel but it’s always nice to come home, so I would probably spend a year in: Europe, Thailand, South Pacific, Australia, Hawaii, and the Carribean, and then come home to Canada.
What are the top five things you could not live without? Family, friends, music, cell phone and chocolate.
What is your dream car? BMW Z3 convertible.
What (hidden) talents do you have? Latin and ballroom dancing.
If you could walk around with a theme song playing in the background, what would yours be? Do You Know (the ping pong song).
You are stranded on a desert island with only three possessions. What are they? iPad, matches, and Enrique Iglesias.
Which television/movie/fiction character would you most like to be? Madam Secretary from the new TV Show.
What natural gift would you most like to possess? Ability to speak different languages.