Maureen Cassidy won’t seek third term in Ward 5 – London

London, Ont., Ward 5 Count. Maureen Cassidy says she won’t seek a third term in the city’s upcoming municipal election.

Cassidy shared the news on Friday via a post to her Twitter account and describes the move to not seek re-election as a “difficult decision because I know only too well the exciting opportunities as well as the sobering challenges we face as a city.”

read more:

Stephen Turner won’t seek third term, backs Skylar Franke in London, Ont. Ward 11 race

“In truth, I feel a strong desire to stay on, to continue the work at the council table, to keep working to make London the best it can be, to ensure we are serving all Londoners, most especially those whose voice is not often heard, those who sit at the margins and who are sometimes overlooked,” Cassidy added.

Story continues below advertisement

“But for democracy to be effective, for City Council to work the way it should, it is necessary to hear new perspectives and points of view. Regular turnover is healthy and necessary for our democracy.”

— Maureen Cassidy 🇺🇦 (@MaureenPCassidy) August 19, 2022

Cassidy garnered more than 50 per cent of the vote when she was first elected in 2014.

The Ward 5 councillor was appointed to the role of deputy mayor during her first term in office and would later become involved in a municipal scandal after she and then-mayor Matt Brown admitted to having an affair.

Cassidy was elected again in 2018 during a race where she was the target of an attack website made in her name that was marked with personal attacks, as well as derogatory and misleading statements. Court documents surrounding the incident would later link the website attacking Cassidy to her then-competitor Randy Warden.

trending stories

  • Canada launches 1st ever 2SLGBTQI+ action plan: ‘Past the 100 days, but we’re here’

  • Canadians wait in pain for orthopedic surgery amid record backlogs: ‘Only getting worse’

Story continues below advertisement

read more:

Fewer London, Ont. residents declare candidacy for 2022 municipal election

In an interview with Global News, Cassidy said she began having thoughts about not seeking re-election about a year ago, but found herself conflicted after certain issues became highlighted in the time since, including the attention brought to local homelessness by The Forgotten 519’s hunger strike.

“There was still that pull, that pull towards service and duty because I know these things are so important and it will be important to have experienced voices at the table as well. That led to my going back and forth for a long time,” Cassidy said.

Along with sitting on and chairing a number of council committees, Cassidy previously sat on the London Police Services Board and had also chaired the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s Board of Health. She said some of her favorite memories stem from dealing directly with constituents.

“When I would have town hall meetings or just meet with them at events in the neighborhood and things like that, I really did like that local connection that I think is missing at other levels of government,” Cassidy added.

Cassidy said she’s concerned that London’s municipal election may be prone to voter apathy, especially after Ontario’s provincial election had a historically low turnout. This year’s municipal election has drawn a significantly lower number of candidates compared with past years.

Story continues below advertisement

“I’m sad to see not a whole lot of women candidates and people from diverse backgrounds,” Cassidy said.

“I can’t always imagine what it’s like to walk in the shoes of an Indigenous person, or a person of colour, someone from the Black community, someone from the LBTQ community … It’s so important to hear directly from so many different diverse voices .”

read more:

London Mayor Ed Holder endorses Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan’s mayoral run

Cassidy hasn’t decided yet what she’ll do after her time in municipal office draws to a close, but said she’s hoping “for some kind of meaningful work where I can help to make a difference in the lives of Londoners.”

As for the new voices and perspectives she wants brought to the table, Cassidy’s advice is, “It’s not as hard as some people want you to think it is.”

Jerry Pribil and Connor Pierotti are the only two candidates running to represent Ward 5 in the upcoming election, as of Friday morning.

Click to play video: 'Fewer candidates running in Toronto municipal election'

Fewer candidates running in Toronto municipal election

Fewer candidates running in Toronto municipal election – Aug 16, 2022

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

London Herald