‘Fed up’ Kenny not seek­ing re-elec­tion in Port

The Welland Tribune - - Front Page - MIKE ZETTEL

Bea Kenny says she’s had a won­der­ful time for nearly two dozen years serv­ing the res­i­dents of Port Col­borne as a city coun­cil­lor, but the time has come for her to step down.

The Ward 3 rep­re­sen­ta­tive said she’s not leav­ing with a sense of sat­is­fac­tion of a job well done, but with a feel­ing of frus­tra­tion that she’s no longer able to do the work she was voted in to do.

Ad­dress­ing coun­cil Mon­day, Kenny an­nounced she will not be seek­ing re-elec­tion at the end of the term, say­ing it was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion she made af­ter con­sult­ing her fam­ily over the past year.

She said it was a choice she had to make for her own health, ex­plain­ing that over the past year she found she’s no longer able to re­solve is­sues brought for­ward to her by res­i­dents.

Kenny said that in the past she would typ­i­cally be able help res­i­dents work with city staff to get their con­cerns ad­dressed promptly, with the av­er­age is­sue tak­ing just a cou­ple weeks to get fixed. Now, she said, prob­lems seem to per­sist for months or even years.

As it hap­pened, two long­stand­ing is­sues were dis­cussed the same night sup­port­ing Kenny’s as­ser­tion. One con­cerned a prop­erty on Lakeshore Road, the state of which res­i­dents have been com­plain­ing about for the past four years — the en­tire length of the cur­rent term.

An­other is the city’s chronic prob­lem of high lev­els of un­ac­counted for wa­ter, which is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the amount of wa­ter the city pur­chases from Ni­a­gara Re­gion and the amount it bills wa­ter cus­tomers.

No end is in sight for ei­ther is­sue, Kenny said.

“When you can’t be … ef­fec­tive enough to make change then it’s time to leave,” she said. “It’s time I moved on and leave the seat empty for some­body else to fill.”

Kenny, who was born at Fort Erie hos­pi­tal but who was raised and has lived her en­tire life in Port Col­borne, was first elected in 1994. She said she was fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of her par­ents, both big pro­mot­ers of the city, when she first de­cided to run for of­fice.

In an in­ter­view, Kenny said her par­ents in­stilled in her a sense that if you’re to com­plain about some­thing you bet­ter be pre­pared to do some­thing about it.

And un­til re­cently that pre­cisely what she’s done, she said, ex-

plain­ing she keeps a log of in­ter­ac­tions with con­stituents, the prob­lems they come for­ward with and how long it takes to find a res­o­lu­tion.

Lately, she said, there’s just been too many prob­lems left un­solved.

“It’s a dis­ap­point­ment for me as a coun­cil­lor, for me not be­ing able to sat­isfy the tax­payer,” she said, adding she has no idea what has changed.

“I don’t know. I wish I could tell you that,” she said. “That’s why I had to leave. I can­not for my mental health, take it. I’m fed up.

“I’ve got to deal with it in my own way, and my own way is just to leave.”

Fol­low­ing Kenny’s an­nounce­ment, Mayor John Maloney as­sured her she’s done a good job serv­ing res­i­dents and that the city is thank­ful for her ser­vice.

“You can leave this ta­ble know­ing you have made a dif­fer­ence,” he said.

“This com­mu­nity owes you a debt of grat­i­tude.”

Bea Kenny

WEESTREEM YOUTUBE SCREEN SHOT

Ward 3 Coun. Bea Kenny an­nounces at Mon­day’s meet­ing that she will not seek re-elec­tion to Port Col­borne coun­cil this fall.

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