After almost 20 years on Duncan city council, Mayor Phil Kent has announced he will not run for re-election in the municipal elections this fall.
Kent said that although his mind and spirit want him to continue in municipal politics, “I must listen to my body and say no”.
“It has been an amazing privilege to have been supported by you, the citizens and stakeholders of our city, to represent your interests,” he said in a letter.
“It has been an honour to work with a diverse, talented and committed group of colleagues on council, the CVRD board, School District 79, Cowichan Tribes and many mayors throughout the Island Coastal Region. It’s my hope that, in some small way, I have contributed to improving our city and our region.”
No candidate has yet to throw their hat in the ring to run to be Duncan’s next mayor.
The nomination period for the municipal elections, which will be held on Oct. 20, starts Sept. 4 and closes on Sept.14.
Nomination packages for the elections are now available at the City of Duncan, as well as at the CVRD and the Municipality of North Cowichan.
Kent, who has health issues, said the past term has been the most personally challenging for him and he has had to apply extraordinary effort to fulfill his role.
Kent said he’s grateful for the opportunity to have made a contribution toward establishing the new VIU Cowichan campus, the new Aquatic Centre, the University Village Plan, the Downtown Duncan Revitalization Plan, saving the railway corridor, flood mitigation works and the rejuvenation of Centennial Park.
“These are only some of the kind of foundational elements that contribute to a healthy and vibrant city,” he said.
“None of these are accomplished without collaboration and partnership.”
Kent said there are still many challenges that lay before the citizens of Duncan, with housing and water security among the top priorities.
He said those two issues alone have not only social importance, but economic importance as well.
“Both will be limiting factors in achieving clean and sustainable economic growth if not addressed,” he said.
Kent advised voters in Duncan to choose their new council carefully.
“Be thoughtful, ask hard questions, be guarded of simple solutions and insist on full disclosure of each candidate’s vision,” he said.