Coun­cil­lor Monette says he won’t run for re-elec­tion in Or­léans

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - JON WILLING jwill­ing@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/JonathanWilling

Or­léans Coun. Bob Monette says he won’t seek re-elec­tion in the Oc­to­ber mu­nic­i­pal vote.

Monette, 66, who had reg­is­tered for the elec­tion, made the an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day morn­ing, say­ing “fam­ily de­ci­sions” com­pelled him to put an end to his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer at city hall.

“Public ser­vice is ul­ti­mately a fam­ily busi­ness. Dur­ing my time in pol­i­tics I have been blessed to be able to count on many friends and neigh­bours, but most im­por­tantly I have en­joyed the un­equiv­o­cal sup­port of my wife Pat, three chil­dren, two grand­sons and a new grand­child ar­riv­ing in June,” Monette said in a news re­lease. “In re­cent weeks I have been re­flect­ing on the de­ci­sion to run for re­elec­tion and came to the con­clu­sion that the time has come to put my fam­ily first. It is never easy to re­verse a de­ci­sion of this kind but it is made eas­ier know­ing that it is the right one.”

Monette was first elected in a by­elec­tion in Jan­uary 2006, re­plac­ing Herb Krel­ing, who be­came a jus­tice of the peace. Monette won in the gen­eral mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion later that year. He ran and won again in 2010, and de­spite promis­ing he would only serve two full terms as coun­cil­lor, he sought re­elec­tion in 2014 and again won.

He pre­vi­ously served on the old Cum­ber­land Town­ship coun­cil for six years in the 1980s.

Monette, who’s co-deputy mayor with Coun. Mark Tay­lor, might be best known for his un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of bring­ing CFL foot­ball and pro­fes­sional base­ball back to Ot­tawa.

He was also a lead­ing ad­vo­cate of clean­ing up the Ot­tawa River, as com­bined sewer over­flows threat­ened the qual­ity of the wa­ter around Petrie Is­land.

Monette has been part of the “east­ern bloc” of coun­cil­lors in east Ot­tawa who have been ad­vo­cat­ing for an LRT ex­ten­sion and more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Monette said he wants to work on get­ting more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to Or­léans with his time left at city hall.

Last term of coun­cil, he fought to save a plas­tic cow when city hall or­dered a now-de­funct cheese bou­tique to re­move the “sign” from its roof in an Or­léans plaza.

Monette said he’s open to new op­por­tu­ni­ties out­side of elected pol­i­tics.

“I’m not go­ing out in the pas­ture field or any­thing,” Monette said be­fore a coun­cil meet­ing. “We’ll see what hap­pens, what’s of­fered in the fu­ture. I don’t think I want to do any­thing as time con­sum­ing as coun­cil, but I will be open if ap­proached in the fu­ture to look at some­thing.

“I have no idea right now. My No. 1 pri­or­ity right now is my fam­ily, kids and grand­chil­dren.”

Monette said the no­tion of pur­su­ing the PC nom­i­na­tion in Or­léans ahead of the re­cent pro­vin­cial elec­tion “never came into the equa­tion.” Lib­eral Marie-France Lalonde held her seat, beat­ing PC can­di­date Cameron Mont­gomery.

“My po­lit­i­cal ca­reer ends at the end of this term,” Monette said.

Mayor Jim Wat­son saluted Monette’s work on ma­jor files, such at the Ot­tawa River Ac­tion Plan and Lans­downe Park.

“It’s per­son­ally for me sad be­cause I think Bob is a very good mem­ber of coun­cil,” Wat­son said.

The mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion is Oct. 22.

Mi­randa Grey was the only other can­di­date who had reg­is­tered in Or­léans ward as of Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon. Can­di­dates have un­til July 27 to file their nom­i­na­tion pa­pers.

DAR­REN BROWN

Or­léans coun­cil­lor Bob Monette was first elected in a by­elec­tion in Jan­uary 2006.

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