Mayor Shaun McLaughlin has sent us this note:
Tuesday, May 1, is the first day that municipal candidates for the October 2018 election can file their papers to run for office.
I do not believe in keeping people guessing; so, in advance of this date, I am declaring I will not seek re-election.
I was 90% sure two years ago I would not run again. Two terms on municipal council is plenty. I never intended to become a career politician. So, it is with a sense of fulfillment that I leave elected office knowing that I have made my contribution.
Mississippi Mills has prospered and the community has been enriched during this term of Council. I began my term as Mayor hoping to reduce the friction around the Council table that was apparent during my first term serving as Ramsay Councillor. Despite our differences of opinion over several major issues, the members of this Council conducted themselves as professionals and maintained decorum at all times. This Council worked efficiently and effectively on behalf of the residents of Mississippi Mills.
In 2014, I committed to foster economic growth, to build on our wealth of existing cultural and heritage assets, to leverage our lifestyle and tourism features. Today, the local economy is the strongest since the woollen mills closed. In Almonte, it is hard to find an empty storefront in our attractive downtown. We sold nine lots in the industrial park so far—with more pending in the remaining months—more than any previous term of Council. In 2017, we had 165 housing starts—the most of any past year. Our community is growing; and Council has been mindful to maintain its attractive character. Over this term, the community has become an enviable destination for those valuing arts, heritage and nature experiences.
This Council made the tough choice to stick with our long-range financial plan that called for high tax increases for six years—necessary to close our infrastructure gap. That phase of the plan is over. We leave the next Council with a healthy bank account, good reserves, manageable debt and the ability to set the 2019 tax increase close to zero. I am particularly pleased with our Council’s responsible stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars.
Reflecting on my eight years on Council – this term as Mayor and the past term when I represented Ramsay on Council – I wish to thank the residents of Mississippi Mills for your support, working relationships, and enduring friendships. I will be almost 67 at the end of this term. The men in my family do not live much past 80. So, I am compelled to pass the baton and pursue other endeavors in life, and enjoy adventures with loved ones.
I thank my colleagues on Council and all those in the community who have worked with a desire to make our community better for all. I wish those on future Mississippi Mills Councils the very best as they continue to serve the people of our exceptional community.
Thank you all.