Jennifer Watts won’t be running in next year’s election

Peninsula North councillor says it’s time for new, diverse voices.

Watts going on. - BIANCA MÜLLER
Watts going on.

After two terms representing the people of Halifax Peninsula North, Jennifer Watts says she won’t be running in next fall’s municipal election.

The news comes from an announcement in her District 8 newsletter, though Watts says it was a decision she made before even being elected in 2008.

“The next municipal election will be held in October 2016.  I will not be running for re-election. This is a decision I made before I was elected to Regional Council in 2008 that if I was successful I would only run for two terms. I have always felt, particularly at the municipal level, that it is important to have new voices and perspectives and to encourage diversity in the leadership of local government and one way to encourage this is to consciously not reoffer. I am making my decision public now to encourage residents in the district to consider running for District 8 representation on municipal council or supporting a candidate in this process. It is hard to describe the privilege and honour I feel for having been entrusted with the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of residents in the former District 14 and the current District 8. To say I have learned a lot is an incredible understatement. In a world where there is a lot of cynicism about the political process, it has been incredibly heartening to engage with amazing people and groups doing excellent work in our community. I greatly appreciate all the feedback I have received from residents and will continue to work hard to represent your concerns until the next election. For anyone interested in running for municipal council I would be more than happy to meet to discuss the process and the role/responsibilities.”

Watts says there will be several opportunities over the next few months for residents to learn about running for council. The first of those will be the Municipal Campaign School for Women, being held on October 17 (register here before October 2). Other opportunities will be advertised in future District 8 newsletters.

Consistently, Watts has earned some of the highest grades amongst her fellow councillors in The Coast’s annual city council report card. Before being elected in 2008 Watts was an urban and rural planner, trained at the Technical University of Nova Scotia.

The next municipal election will be held October 15, 2016.

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