In a move that I'm sure is going to be met with disappointment and elation in equal measure, Ward 3 councillor Maggi Laidlaw has decided that she will not stand for re-election in 2014. The news was broken in a Guelph Tribune article published in yesterday's edition.
“Yes, I’m going to hang up my city councillor hat” said Laidlaw in an interview. The veteran councillor, who turns 65 in 2015, will be retiring from her day job at a local company that conducts clinical trials of natural health products in 2016. “Then I will be free and clear to tour the world,” she added.
Laidlaw has been easily one of the most outspoken city councillors in her 14 years around the horseshoe. She came up in politics as a former school board trustee before first being elected in 2000 winning first place in Ward 3 with 27.65 per cent of the vote. In the 2010 election, she again won first place in Ward 3 with a total of 2,296 votes or 29.45 per cent, her third first place finish out of the four elections she ran in for city council.
But despite being popular with her ward, Laidlaw is frequently cited as an example of the so-called "Looney Left" of city council. Laidlaw has been steadfast in her support of progressive causes in Guelph, particularly the environment.
This is the first major move concerning city council and the 2014 election we've heard so far. Over half of the current council has served nearly two terms or more, so this is unlikely the last retirement news we'll be hearing as the months count down to the 2014 municipal election. More news as it develops...