Murray Presley’s 15-year run as a councillor for the City of Courtenay will end this November.
Presley will not run in this year’s B.C. civic elections for the two reasons he mentioned in a recent interview.
A 15-year stretch is a good commitment to serve the people of the city. Presley is also 65, when people’s lives often are a time of change.
If the City of Courtenay agreed, he could remain on the Comox Valley Economic Development Society board of directors. He says he’s passionate about economic development, and he would contribute in that role.
Regardless of how his decision affects his CVEDS status or whether you agree with his stance on issues, Presley will be missed on Courtenay council.
Assuming their members can respect other perspectives and sometimes compromise to do the work of the people they represent, councils and other groups benefit from a mix of experience and ideologies.
As Presley says, “We have a working mix right now at council, not all left and not all right.”
Presley and staunch ally Larry Jangula have been the most ardent guardians of the public purse, with fellow councillors Ronna-Rae Leonard and Doug Hillian the most outspoken voices on the left side of the spectrum. The rest of council falls somewhere in the middle.
As an accountant, Presley was Courtenay council’s most prominent spending watchdog.
While some in the Comox Valley disagreed with Presley’s priorities, he brought a valuable point of view to the council table to try to keep taxes down. Courtenay’s beleaguered taxpayers owe him some thanks.
We don’t know yet who else on council will run for re-election. Leonard, for example, has already made a stab at federal politics.
We also don’t know what political rookies will try or previous candidates try again.
The best hope is that we end up with a balanced council that, through its debates and collective decisions, best represents the needs and desires of its citizens.