The municipal election has another entrant, as Tom Shypitka declared his intent to run for city council on Wednesday.
Shypitka, who provides financial services with Sun Life Financial, decided to enter the race this time after reflecting on the current state of affairs in the city.
“At this stage of my life, I felt I had the responsibility to make a positive change to the city I love, rather than just talking about it,” said Shypitka.
“I will not be the candidate who finger points and says who or what is to blame for any shortfalls the city has seen in recent years. Rather, I prefer to concentrate on the positive and will look forward from where we are now.”
Shypitka, a born-and-raised fourth generation resident of Cranbrook who has been a self-employed business owner for 33 years, wants to grow business while also tackling infrastructure, services and culture.
“Budget speaking, this is a balancing act, so as council, we have to be very savvy on how we allocate our expenses,” Shypitka said. “We need council to have business sense so as to eliminate useless or non productive spending.”
A working relationship between council and residents is one of Shypitka’s biggest goals, if elected.
“We, the citizens, have to understand that city council is trying it’s best to improve the city,” Shypitka said. “There will always be left versus right viewpoints, but I think it is council’s job to bridge the gap between the two groups.
“It is where we will get our best work done and this is where I believe I can help the most. We have to do this together.”
Outside politics, Shypitka’s name may resonate due to his curling career, where he has played at the highest level and beaten the best in the world. During his time on the curling sheets, he learned the importance of playing as a team.
“Individually, a team may not comprise the best players, but if all members have the same focus, goals, and direction, it is amazing what you can accomplish,” Shypitka said.
Cranbrook is a regional hub and has a backdrop that makes it one of the best places to live on the planet, said Shypitka, pointing to services such as the College of the Rockies and the Canadian Rockies International Airport and the opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hunting, fishing, hiking and mountain biking.
“Let’s focus on the bigger picture and throw ourselves out to the world,” Shypitka said. “Lets be creative in attracting new businesses and improving the ones that are already here. Lets improve on community and work as a team.
“This won’t work otherwise.”