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