By Schnarr, J.W. on October 12, 2017.
Lethbridge City Councillor Bridget Mearns reflected on what it meant to be leaving municipal politics and called it “bittersweet.”
In her final meeting on Tuesday, Mearns said she had mixed emotions about her decision not to run again for council.
“There’s so much more to accomplish,” she said. “So much more I’d like to see come to completion.”
“But also knowing there are other opportunities. And it’s OK to step back and build in different ways.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve one here.”
Mearns also addressed rumours that she will likely end up back in politics in some form before too long.
“I think what you’re hearing, or what I hope you are hearing, is that I’m a public servant at heart,” she said. “Public service is just who I am, and what I want to be. But what that looks like, I don’t know.
“I just know in some capacity I’ll be giving back to my community. It’s just who I am.”
Last month, Mearns announced she was stepping away from politics in order to focus on completing her master’s in executive management and to focus on professional development.
Mearns admitted she had given some thought to running for mayor, but said the thought occurred to her too late in the process.
“There’s nothing to say if that opportunity doesn’t present itself again – for sure, but this really isn’t the time for me to do that.”
Mearns identified a number of projects in the past seven years she was proud of, including being part of the decision to have the term “alderman” replaced with “councillor” to better recognize the contributions of women in politics.
She also identified the City’s tourism strategy and curbside recycling as projects she was proud of being part of.
“But what I really am proud about is what I gave every day to this job,” she said. “Always informed. Always listening to different perspectives.”
Mearns said it would be interesting to know what some of the preconceived ideas new women to council might have to see if it matches up with the role they will be taking on.
She said women coming in to council need to be strong and not afraid to voice their opinions.
She also told them to trust their gut.
“We second-guess ourselves too much.”
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