Long-time councillor resigns

Mike Maher: Time was right for him to leave town council.

Mike Maher: Time was right for him to leave town council.

After 16 years on town council, Mike Maher handed in his resignation on Dec. 28.

“It’s been coming for a while and it just was a good decision for me at this point,” he told The Hub.

Maher, who was the longest-serving member of the current council, explained his reasons for leaving are personal.

However, he did note that he has three young children and his wife is working full-time.

“So that adds a whole new dimension to the family,” he said. “There are only so many hours in a day.”

Maher said he had been thinking about resigning from council for probably two or three months.

“It’s not a sudden decision,” he noted. “It may seem like it to some people, but I have been thinking about it for a little while.”

Maher said, when he first was elected to council in November of 2000, he never really thought about how long he would serve.

“I got involved because people talk about change and doing stuff, and it’s how best to affect that. Get involved. Understand what it’s all about,” he said.

Maher enjoyed his time on council.

“I mean there were challenging times as with anything,” he said. “Sixteen years is a long time.”

As for why he stayed on council for so many years, Maher explained projects and issues always arise, but government tends to be slow to change at whatever level.

“So there’s always stuff that keeps you coming back,” he said.

One of his keys to serving on council was to be able to listen to everyone and keep an open mind, and then come to some sort of compromise.

Maher said this is the end of his involvement in politics for now, adding that, while he never says never, he has no plans to return to politics.

Mayor Brad Mapes said Maher helped move the community forward.

“I appreciate the service that he’s done for the town over the years,” the mayor said.

Mapes was surprised by the resignation.

“I was kind of shocked by it at first, but I think people have to do what they got to do,” he said. “At the end of the day, you accept it and we move on.”

At its meeting on Jan. 9, council discussed the three options it has as a result of Maher’s resignation – holding a by-election, calling for expressions of interest from people so council could appoint a new councillor, or letting the seat remain vacant for the rest of council’s term.

–Paul Bickford