Two Esquimalt councillors will not seek another seat on council in November’s municipal election.
Don Linge said he won’t campaign for an eighth consecutive term on council, and Ali Gaul said she plans to focus her energies elsewhere after wrapping up her first term.
“It’s a hard decision in some ways because I think I should give opportunity for new faces, new choices, new ways of looking at things,” said Linge, a long-time Esquimalt resident and lawyer. “Maybe I’m not looking at it with fresh eyes anymore.”
There is already one seat sitting empty on council, which belonged to Randall Garrison until he campaigned in the federal election and became the new Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca member of Parliament. He officially resigned from his municipal post on May 12. No byelection was held.
Meanwhile, Mayor Barb Desjardins and Coun. Meagan Brame will each vie for another term. Desjardins served one term as councillor before she was elected as the township’s mayor in 2008. This will be Brame’s second campaign.
Coun. Bruce McIldoon said he isn’t ready to make a decision about running again. Coun. Lynda Hundleby did not respond to interview requests.
Gaul said she wanted to announce her intentions early to give residents in the community enough time to consider running.
“I openly never went into this looking for a long-term career in politics at all,” said Gaul.
“Really it’s just about my personal family life and being mid-career with young kids,” said the mother to two children, eight and 10 years old. She currently works as a part-time co-ordinator of a program for children with disabilities at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health.
Both Linge and Gaul said they won’t rule out a return to politics one day.
“I’m not stepping back forever,” said Gaul, who felt compelled to campaign in 2008 when the Archie Browning Sports Centre’s future was in jeopardy. She is also a founding member of the Esquimalt Residents Association.
Linge, who said he is most proud of his attendance and voting records and representing the community’s best interests, plans to remain active through charity work, the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce and the Esquimalt centennial celebrations committee.
Municipal elections throughout B.C. will be held Nov. 19.