Long-serving White Rock councillor Doug McLean has announced he will not run again for council in November.
McLean, who has topped the polls in several elections since first winning a seat on council in 1994, cited an increase in career responsibilities and a desire to spend more time with his family as his principal reasons for not seeking office again.
“I have more responsibility in my current job (deputy superintendent for the Financial Institution Commission) and my office is moving back to downtown Vancouver – the commute can take two hours out of your day,” he said.
Working as a regulator of banking institutions, including credit unions and trust companies, also has a potential for conflicts of interest, he added, since the city has dealings with some of them. But the time requirement of being a councillor is also a factor, McLean said.
“Over this term we’ve had more meetings than expected, and we’re about to start doing afternoon meetings, which wouldn’t work with my job.”
He said he is looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time at home with his wife Shellie and their daughter Morgan, who will be turning 13 in November and plans to attend Semiahmoo Secondary.
McLean said it’s “been a great honour” to serve White Rock and is proud he has always had good support in the community.
Frequently appointed finance committee chair during his time in office, he said he is proud, too, of his role helping the city adopt a long-range financial plan, modernizing financial planning and reducing the city’s debt level “to being almost debt free.”
Other accomplishments he is pleased with are the widening of sidewalks on East Beach, improvements to safety, street crossings and sidewalks around White Rock Elementary, the retention of large oak trees on the school site, protection of the Marine Drive hump and opposing an increase of highrises in the town centre.
McLean said he has “mixed” feelings about not running for council, acknowledging he will miss having the ability to influence decisions about the community.
But he said he would still be able to participate by speaking on issues as a member of the public, and would likely continue to be involved in the community through non-profit organizations. He also did not rule out running for office again, particularly once he retires.
But he’d also like to see more new blood on council, he said.
“One thing I’d like to do is urge more young people to get involved with municipal government – there is a role for them to play and they could influence the future of the city on a lot of things.”