In a move that really surprises no one, Ward 4 city councillor Gloria Kovach has decided that she will retire from city hall after seven terms and 23 years around the horseshoe. Kovach's decision means that the race in Ward 4 is wide open with neither of the current incumbents running for re-election. Kovach's Ward 4 counterpart Cam Guthrie is running for Mayor in the October 27 municipal election.
"After 23 years of serving the City of Guelph as a City Councillor, I am announcing my retirement from Council," Kovach said in a statement sent to media. "I will not be seeking re-election to City Council this fall."
Many in her ward and in the city have expected this decision from Kovach, not just because she's served for nearly a quarter of a century on council, but because of the untimely death last year of her daughter, Cnst. Jennifer Kovach, the one year anniversary of which was March 14.
"I started this journey in hopes that I would be able to have a positive impact and make the city a better place to live for our children," she added. "I hope in some small way that I have enhanced people's quality of life."
Kovach's career in local politics also included a turn as the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, as well as a run at federal office as the Conservative nominee in the 2008 Federal Election. As to Kovach's future plans, a friend told the Mercury that her recent tenure studying cooking and the culinary arts at George Brown College may play a part.
As for the politics of Ward 4, so far school board trustee Linda Busuttil and former Ward 4 councillor Mike Salisbury have filed their nomination papers to succeed Kovach and Guthrie. The deadline for filing is September 11.