White Rock Mayor Catherine Ferguson is moving out of the political fray.
In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Ferguson told Peace Arch News she would not be seeking re-election as mayor and would be leaving local politics for the conceivable future.
“I have several other opportunities I’m considering,” Ferguson said.
A notably relaxed-looking Ferguson said she was looking forward to a change in priorities, but emphasized that she wanted to continue helping others.
Ferguson, daughter of Abbotsford’s former longtime mayor George Ferguson, has a long record of involvement in every community where she resided, including charitable organizations, rotary and chamber of commerce membership .
Before entering politics herself, Ferguson fought her way back from catastrophic injuries sustained when she was hit by a drunk driver, including more than a decade of therapy and corrective surgeries.
She added that in deciding not to run, she was not endorsing anyone seeking the office “at this point.”
Ferguson – who was first elected as a councillor in 2005, and who was frequently embroiled in philosophical and procedural battles with Citizens For Positive Renewal councillors since winning the mayor’s seat in 2008 – declined to comment on the political turmoil she has faced.
But she said “no one thing” had decided her not to seek the office again.
“I’ve put a lot of thought into it,” she said. “I care deeply about the community and will continue to do so and contribute in ways that I can.”
Ferguson said she offered good wishes to the new council to be elected in November’s election, “whoever that will be,” but also urged them to take a position of “being visionary, not being caught up in the small stuff.”
“We have a great city filled with endless opportunity,” she said. “I hope and wish that the foundation that has been put in place will continue and that the new council will really leverage our assets to create opportunity for business and the city that White Rock can be.”
Ferguson also said she had enjoyed being mayor of such a close-knit community.
“The people that make up this city – it’s really such a pleasure to serve them,” she said. “I believe everyone who is in business or is a resident here wants this city to prosper. To come into a local store or business and see someone there, and have them ask how something affected them – that’s not something you get in a big city.
“To have the support of so many businesses and residents in the city has been humbling for me, and I will be forever grateful for that support.”