After two terms on Red Deer city council, Paul Harris has announced he won’t seek a third term.
Tuesday evening, Harris posted to his Facebook page saying he was not going to run in the upcoming fall election.
In his post, Harris said it’s time for “the community to look around and select new councillors to serve them.”
He said he will focus his time on building the businesses he and his partner have, working on his master’s research and writing and will return to his consultancy practice as a facilitator in urban transitions, community development, strategic planning and organizational development.
The post also takes aim at voter apathy in municipal elections. He said about 25 per cent of residents voted for the last municipal council.
“Voter turnout has been pathetic at best and yet civic government is the order of government, which provides the widest range of services and is the closest to the citizens. We can do better and must.”
“A younger generation will inherit this community, its strengths and its weaknesses. Young citizens need to get to the polls, actively participate and engage with governance. Red Deer needs you. We need you. The future needs you.”
Harris was first elected in 2010, he received 6,449 or 45 per cent of the vote. He was the eighth and final councillor elected. In 2013, he was elected with 32.6 per cent of the vote, 6.631 total votes. He received the seventh most votes.
He is the first sitting councillor to announce they are not seeking another term. Frank Wong hasn’t announced if he is running again. Lawrence Lee, Ken Johnston, Dianne Wyntjes, Lynne Mulder, Buck Buchanan and Tanya Handley have all announced they are seeking another term. Mayor Tara Veer is also running again.
In his time on council, Harris has served on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board of directors’, the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce, the Westerner Exposition Board and the Inter city forum on social policy.