Following in the footsteps of Mayor Dennis Fenske, Coun. Dennis Foley won’t be participating in the 2018 municipal election.
During an interview with the Thompson Citizen, Foley said that it’s been a great experience serving the community in this capacity since 2014, and that he wants to use the next four years to concentrate on other local projects.
“I’m not tired or anything like that, it’s just there’s other aspects of the community that I want to be involved in and I find that sometimes being on council has actually held me back from doing what I think the community needs,” he said.
Part of Foley’s continued community outreach past the October election involves maintaining his presence on local government bodies like the city’s recreation and community services committee.
Unlike Fenske, who announced in late 2017 that he wouldn’t be seeking another term as mayor, Foley isn’t counting out the possibility of running for office once again in 2022.
“My son’s in high school now, so by the time he’s out then, most likely, I’ll be looking at running again in the next term,” he said. “My political aspirations for the city are not done. I plan on being a long-term resident.”
For political newcomers who are looking to secure a council seat for the first time, Foley said that his advice for these candidates is they should stay true to their values and make sure emotions don’t cloud their judgement.
“When you make your decisions make them with the information that you have. Go by facts,” he said. “A lot of times too many decisions are made over emotional reasons and they shouldn’t be.”
As of this publication, only two members of the current council have confirmed that they are participating in the upcoming election. Penny Byer announced that she is running for mayor back in May, while Blake Ellis has already registered to reclaim his council seat.
The remaining members of the current council−Duncan Wong, Judy Kolada, Colleen Smook, Kathy Valentino and Ron Matechuk −are either undecided about seeking a nomination or haven’t made their intentions known yet.
However, senior election official Dave Turpie told the Thompson Citizen on Wednesday that he is expecting some of these remaining council members to hand in their paperwork before the Sept. 18 deadline. Candidate registrations for mayor, councillor or school board trustee will not be accepted after 4 p.m. that day.
The municipal election is set to take place Oct. 24.