Council candidate Q&A: Serena Puranen

How long have you been living in Thompson?

I have been living in Thompson for a little over eight years. I wanted to go to Legal Aid partly because … I do see myself as the defender of the downtrodden, fighter for the underdog … and so that’s where I wanted to put my time and energy. Legal Aid said, ‘Well, the only opening we have is in Thompson.’

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What do you do for a living?

I’m a criminal lawyer. I come with critical thinking and being able to look at things coldly, rationally, strategically as well as problem solving because obviously all my clients have a problem and it’s my job to try to come up with the best solution for them.

Why do you want to be on city council?

The fact that city services are being cut and property taxes are going up, there’s clearly things that we need to try to sort out. My ability to think rationally, problem-solve, not get emotional, I think those assist. I want this community to be able to thrive long-term and I think I can assist.

What is the biggest local issue you want to address if elected?

Everybody’s really upset about the property taxes and infrastructure because all our streets are crumbling. I was only snow plowed, I think, once all of last year. The infrastructure, the rising taxes, the reducing services, those are the areas that I want us to be able to look at and try to do better on.

Why should someone pick you over the other candidates?

I go and do the research so that if I’m opening my mouth saying something, I’m going to be right because I care about facts and I care about accuracy. I think that’s what’s needed on city council.

Anything else to add?

I’ve been involved in the theatre group. I’ve been the chair of a non-profit for three years now here in town. I volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club giving them lessons on the legal system every course that the Youth Build runs. I speak at the high school every year in an English class about the youth criminal justice system. I swim at the pool. I’m in the volleyball league. I’ve been a member of the yoga studio. I have been committed to this community and I have been actively engaged in it.

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