On Tuesday, July 18, Mayor Dick Richards decided not to seek re-election at the regular Town of Stettler council meeting, in front of Town of Stettler staff and council members.
He attributed his decision to where the Town is at now, and the huge talent pool that resides within the council.
“I won’t be running for a fourth term because of a variety of reasons,” said Richards. “The Town is in a really really good spot now, and we continue to grow. We have a new and vibrant relationship with our partners in the county, we’ve great senior administration, and we’ve a bunch of invested, elected officials that continue to serve the community.”
He also said that his decision comes in the wake of realizing that he has three teenage children.
“Another four years in the mayor’s chair, and there will be two of them graduating, and one of them on the verge of graduation, so I need to spend more time with them, and I need that time with my kids.”
Richards has served three terms as mayor, and will not be running for a fourth term.
According to Richards, the timing is right.
“I have a passion for this community like no one else,” said Richards. “I’ve been privileged to serve as Stettler’s Mayor for as long as I have, but there’s a lot to be said about going out when the time’s right. And I think, everything else being equal, the timing was right.”
The mayor said that one of the things he was most proud of while he was on the council was the affordable housing program that he chaired.
“It allowed us to introduce a number of units not only in Stettler, but also in Donalda and Big Valley,” Richards added. “It was an area that needed addressing, and with the help of the provincial government we addressed that need.”
He said that he was also happy about the renewed relationship that the Town of Stettler now shares with the County of Stettler.
“And I think because of this, the winner isn’t the Town or the County, but the community in Stettler, and when I say Stettler, I also mean the surrounding areas in the county,” Richards stated. “I think the mayor alone doesn’t achieve or accomplish anything, but is a part of a functioning team, and I have built lifelong friendships here not only with elected officials but the staff of the Town of Stettler. I’m happy about what we’ve done, and what we’ve accomplished, and I will continue to serve the community of Stettler, just not in an elected capacity.