Longtime Nelson councillor Donna Macdonald won’t seek re-election in November’s municipal election.
The 64-year-old has been elected six times and served a total of 19 years in her position.
“I’m very grateful to the community for supporting me for all these years,” Macdonald told the Star. “It’s been an amazing journey — and I’m glad it’s coming to an end.”
After nearly two decades, Macdonald said she wants more time to focus on other aspects of her life. She doesn’t have any aspirations to get into provincial or federal politics. Instead, she’d like to travel and enjoy her senior years.
“I’m of a certain age where a person might like to kick back a bit,” she laughed.
The idea of retiring from city council had been on her mind awhile, Macdonald said, and after the province announced its plan to extend local government terms to four years, she decided that was too much for her to sign on for.
Macdonald has considered getting out of politics in the past. She ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1996 and 1999. Though she told herself at the time that she wouldn’t go back: “I managed to get sucked back in.”
But this time she said her decision is final.
“I’ve dedicated a good chunk of my life to this — and I do work hard and give a lot of time to the job — I think I’m ready for a rest,” she said.
With eight months left in her term, Macdonald wants to focus on wrapping up projects on she’s working on as the council representative on the the housing committee and cultural development committee. She’s also passed off her responsibility as alternate director on the Regional District of Central Kootenay board to councillor Deb Kozak.
Once free from her council responsibilities, Macdonald expects she’ll find new ways to become involved in the community, though she’s not yet sure what form that might take. All she hopes is that it will be, “something where I don’t have to sit through quite so many meetings.”