Announcing my Retirement from Politics
August 16, 2013
After a great deal of thought, I have decided not to seek re-election to Edmonton’s City Council in October.
It has been an honour to serve Edmontonians and Ward One residents for the past nine years, I take pride in our accomplishments as a Council, and I am privileged to have made many good memories and friends during my tenure.
I have spent a significant amount of time in political public service in Alberta– four years as an MLA for Edmonton Riverview (1997 to 2001) and nine years as City Councillor representing Ward One (2004 – 2013). In addition, I served on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association board for five years prior to being elected President of the Board in 2011- a position I will maintain until the AUMA’s November 2013 convention.
There have been many highlights in my work as a city councillor, among these are:
- creating the Creative Age Festival (celebrating seniors and creative aging) and formalizing the Seniors Declaration. The accomplishment of these two initiatives led to the World Health Organization to recognizing Edmonton as a Senior Friendly City in 2012
- successfully advocating for the City’s seniors’ centres to be provided operating subsidies, and begin a pilot project on aging-in-place
- championing the Edmonton Public Library- and supporting the building of two new libraries in Ward One- Lois Hole and Jasper Place
- advocating for the preservation of the North Saskatchewan River Valley and natural areas, and pursuit of a stronger Top of Bank policy to create more public parks and better access to the river’s edge. Although the policy did not change, I did successfully bring a motion to Council which increased the City’s annual contribution to the Natural Area Reserve Fund by $1 million per year, and enhanced funding of programs for preservation and maintenance of the City’s urban forest and the creation of the City’s Land Trust.
While this was not an easy decision for me to make, I feel it was the right time for me to step away from politics. I am looking forward to taking time to relax and rejuvenate, and reconnect with family and friends as I enter the next stage of my life.
Thank you all for your kind support.