City Councillor Chris Stephan has announced he will not seek re-election this fall.
Stephan and his family will be moving to Red Deer County after purchasing property there which means he will no longer be a resident of the City, a requirement to sit on council. He said he will reside in the City until after the election.
“We were just trying to find the place that we thought would be the best to raise our kids. During this past term on council we had two additional children and we wanted to find a place with a little more space. We made the decision of locating ourselves where we thought would be best for our family.”
After being elected in 2010, Stephan said serving on City council has given him many opportunities.
“It’s been a good way for me to get to know the community better and just to have an opportunity to serve and to make decisions on behalf of the community,” he said. “It is certainly the most involved I have ever been in the community. I’ve really come to appreciate Red Deer and the people of Red Deer and also appreciate the different viewpoints we have here – not just from the community but from the other councillors as well.”
Stephan added there are many things he will miss about serving on council.
“I will miss the level of involvement in the community. There are always opportunities to serve and I plan on serving in different ways but I don’t think it will be at the same level as it is when I am on council.”
As for the election, Stephan said it will be an exciting one with the election of a new mayor and new additions to council as well.
With Stephan’s announcement, that means council will see change with Councillors Cindy Jefferies and Tara Veer both vying for the mayor’s chair. There will be at least three new faces to City council if all of the incumbents are re-elected.
“I’m excited like everyone for the election. I think we have a very competitive mayor race and I think the council race is going to be very interesting as well. I have heard a lot of people talk about how this is going to be the bike lane election and so it’s going to be very interesting to see how it plays out,” he said.
As for the new council, Stephan said there will be some challenges ahead.
“I think the biggest challenge for the new council is going to be being able to make difficult financial decisions that reflect the interest of the community.”
Meanwhile, as for Stephan, he said he hopes to have the chance to re-enter politics in the future.
“I think at some point I would like to get back into politics, I really enjoy it,” he said. “I need to figure out how to use a ride-on lawnmower before I can think about running for County council.”