Ten years on council is enough for Juliette Cunningham.
The veteran councillor has announced she won’t seek another term on Vernon council this fall, saying she wants to spend more time with her family.
“This has been all consuming actually, this last four years in particular, and although I care very much about the position I have had, there comes a time where you have to look beyond yourself,” Cunningham tells Beach Radio News.
Cunningham, who is a business owner, is also the chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, and a director on the Regional District of North Okanagan Board and Okanagan Basin Water Board.
Cunningham was first elected to council in 2005, and ran for mayor in 2008, finishing second to Wayne Lippert that year.
She was re-elected to council in 2011, and again in 2014.
Cunningham points to the work of the Social Planning Council and gains in affordable housing as some of council’s proudest achievements during her three terms.
“I’m pretty proud of Social Planning, the contract we have with that, and the work they do in the community. I think many don’t appreciate how much work is done by Social Planning and the Partners in Action.”
Cunningham says the master water plan was contentious issue dealt with by GVAC.
“I think we’ve done some good work having that adopted probably with a better financial approach than we had previously.”
She also notes the twinning of Kal Tire Place, the adoption of a cultural plan, and the city’s 1.9% infrastructure levy, as other accomplishments by the governments she has been a part of.
“Before we had that (levy) in place, we were investing about $154,000 a year in infrastructure, and at the end of this ten years that started in 2013, we’ll have invested 7 million dollars.”
Cunningham says it was not an easy decision not to seek another term.
“I hope the new people at the table will take such an interest in the community and recognize that everyone who lives in our community has value, and has to be considered when we make our decisions.”