Coun. Stephen Montague (Richmond) plans to put his political career on hold this fall.
Montague announced via Twitter on Friday that he will not seek re-election.
"It’s not an easy decision," he said. "It’s something that I wrestled with for a while."
Montague says being a dedicated councillor over the past four years on top of holding down a full-time job is a very difficult balance.
"What often gets squeezed out is the personal side of your life, so things like time with friends, or with family, or looking to have a family often gets neglected because of it," he said.
Montague, 33, was elected to council in 2010, defeating the incumbent Margo Campbell, who had been Richmond councillor for two decades.
His day job is financial services manager at Four Seasons Sales in Virden. He says he plans to stay politically engaged in Brandon, even though he won’t be on city council.
"I love this city, it’s why I ran," he said. "I’m going to continue to fight to make it a better place. I just won’t be one of the 11 at the table on Oct. 23, but it definitely doesn’t mean that I’m going away. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later."
During his time on council, Montague pushed successfully to expand the city’s ban on bottled water, and for the creation of a citizen "question period" at the start of city council meetings.
He’ll also be remembered for drawing the ire of Mayor Shari Decter Hirst — once strongly enough that she threatened to "slap (him) on the back of the head so hard (his) head will spin." She later apologized.
Montague said he "absolutely" will continue with his political aspirations, and isn’t ruling out a run for the mayor’s chair in four years.
"That’s something that I do want to accomplish in my life and to be able to serve the residents in that capacity. I think would be a fantastic challenge, but also an extreme honour," he said. "Whether an MLA or MP spot would come from that, it’s too soon to say."
He said he has no plans to put his name forward for the upcoming provincial or federal elections.
"My focus right now is on the one aspect of my life that for the last few years has been pretty neglected, and that’s on the personal side," he said.
» Twitter: @jillianaustin