Meet the councillors: Karen Principe aims to be a good steward of tax dollars

· The Pulse
By Karen Unland

Karen Principe, the incumbent-beating councillor for Ward tastawiyiniwak, is keen to ensure her community remains "safe and viable and thriving" so her kids will want to stay.

The dental hygienist and longtime volunteer, who beat sitting councillor Jon Dziadyk and four other contenders in the north Edmonton ward, dropped by Speaking Municipally to share her vision for the next four years.

"Everyone's very concerned about their tax dollars being spent properly," she said she heard during the campaign. "I assured them that I was going to go in and do my due diligence and make sure that I was looking at all the different aspects of how we're spending money."

Principe demonstrated that tendency during budget deliberations in the fall, where she joined councillors Tim Cartmell and Jennifer Rice in voting against the budget, which set a 1.91% tax levy increase.

Karen Principe takes the oath of office

Karen Principe was sworn in as the councillor for tastawiyiniwak on Oct. 26, 2021. [Mack Male/Flickr]

Principe was the only winning councillor who didn't answer the Taproot Survey, where we asked candidates where they stood on 30 questions derived from the issues voters told us they cared about. She did tell Taproot's civic affairs podcast that widening 167 Avenue and 66 Street was important to her, as well as improvements to the bus network redesign, which she felt cut too much service to the north side.

"They are on the path of finding a better system for us and making sure that we're getting the service we need here in the community," she said.

She also had kind words for Coun. Andrew Knack, who co-hosted the episode and has helped show his council-chambers neighbour the ropes, even though they often disagree on the issues.

"He'll always gives me good advice," she said. "He will let me have my own opinion. And he will never trick me a certain way. So I really appreciate it."

Speaking Municipally has done "meet the councillors" interviews with Aaron Paquette, Anne Stevenson and Jo-Anne Wright, Sarah Hamilton and Michael Janz, Keren Tang and Ashley Salvador, and Andrew Knack and Erin Rutherford. The podcast is slated to round out the set with Jennifer Rice and Tim Cartmell on Jan. 21.