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HomeNewsKawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham Announces He Will Not Be Seeking Reelection...

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham Announces He Will Not Be Seeking Reelection For A Third Term

KAWARTHA LAKES – Mayor Andy Letham says he will not be seeking reelection for a third term.

Mayor Letham made this announcement today during a council meeting.

“I will not be running in the next municipal election, we have accomplished much together as a team, I know we have much more to do, so let’s just keep going,” said Mayor Letham.

After the meeting, he noted that he always planned to run for two terms if the city would have him, as he believes in term limits.

“I never wanted to do this as long as possible, until I got kicked out, I had a goal of a couple terms, I’m a big fan of term limits, change over is good, fresh ideas are good,”he said. “If you can’t accomplish what you want in eight years, you probably wont in 12, 16 or 20. We worked hard and did some good things as a result.”

And while he is unsure of what the future holds after he departs from office, the private business sector is in the back of his mind while taking some time off to spend with his wife also sounds appealing to the Mayor.

“I want to do some other things in my life, I don’t know what they are yet,” he said. “I’m going to be 60 at the end of my term, a good age to venture into the next chapter.”

According to Councillor Kathleen Seymour Fagan, Mayor Letham was an inspiration. She spent two terms on council with the Mayor and she respects his ability to always remain fair and level-headed.

“We’ve had some very hard decisions to make in the past six years, Andy was always even keeled and pragmatic,” she said. “He tried to make sure the decisions made were the best choice for the municipality.”

Seymour Fagan noted that she wasn’t surprised by his decision to step down as Mayor, adding that the pandemic has taken a toll on everybody.

“It has been a trying time, Andy was always there for his constituents, staff and council,” she said. “Hopefully the next mayor to take Andy’s place will be able to continue to build on the foundation that Mayor Letham has built and keep this municipality moving forward in a fiscally, responsible manner. I wish Mayor Letham well but he is still stuck with us for another year and a half!”

Mayor Letham feels proud of the way things will be left as he leaves office, noting that the entire team has raised the bar with conduct, respecting one another like never before.

“We have accomplished some good things, financially, we have been able to attack big infrastructure projects that were due for a long time, we are leaving the next council with options, some good options if they choose to move forward on the same path,” he said. “The goal was to leave it better than I found it and I believe we have done that so I can leave with my head held high.”

One of his biggest hurdles as Mayor was coming to terms with the fact that it is impossible to please everybody. And for the elected official that eventually takes his place, Mayor Letham encourages them to be bold and be brave.

“It doesn’t matter what you do, you wont ever make everybody happy, don’t be afraid to make decisions, even if not everybody is in favour,” he said. “The easiest way to make the job easy is to not make any bold decisions, I don’t think we did that. At the end of the day, do the best you can, we can’t do anything more than that.”

According to Mayor Letham, the city is equipped with an impressive roster of staff that work behind the scenes, enabling council to accomplish an immense amount of work during the past eight years.

“We got some really good people that work here behind the scenes, I hope that respect continues that we tried to foster, it hasn’t always been there but we worked hard to get it,” he said. “We have great directors, managers, supervisors and snow plow drivers, people doing the job and sometimes they don’t get thanked for it, I have respect for what they do, we are all part of that wheel. They can’t do it without us and we can’t without them, we have to realize that, I would like to see it continue, respect for staff and employees and the good work they do here.”

Councillor Ron Ashmore noted that Mayor Letham has worked hard through the pandemic and thanked him for his service.

“I’d like to thank him for his service for the past two terms. I’m sure it was a tough decision to make,” said Ashmore. “Although we didn’t agree on some things, he did assist me in supporting me on resolutions I’ve brought forward on many issues. I wish him all the best in the future.”

Mayor Letham added that a lot of big picture changes have been made while he served as mayor, always for the betterment of the entire city.

And while what councillors will fill the chamber seats after the next election is unknown, Mayor Letham encourages all to speak up and always share opinions.

“Never be afraid to bring your ideas to council, we have the best discussions when ideas come forward,” he said. “It was a productive eight years. The municipality is on a better path, I hope the next council continues on that path but if they choose a different path they have good options from a financial perspective.

For Councillor Tracy Richardson, she will be saying goodbye to Mayor Letham with a thankful heart as he provided the city with non wavering leadership.

“Since being elected a Councillor in 2018,  Mayor Letham has offered me support and guidance, and words cannot express how truly fortunate we are to have had his non wavering leadership as we guide through this Pandemic,” she said. “We have had to make some tough decisions and as a municipality, not everyone will agree but we are weathering this together.  I support his decision and recognize the dedication his has given City of Kawartha Lakes over the years, and wish him only the best moving forward, he deserves it!”

And while Mayor Letham made his announcement early, he has no plans on slowing down and working hard for the city until a new Mayor takes his seat in the council chambers. Retirement is also not on his radar, just yet.

“The future, I don’t know what it holds but I want to do something different, I just don’t know what it is yet, maybe take some time off with my wife, but I’m not ready to retire,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll transition into something, we will see what happens.”

 

 

 

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Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker
Jennifer decided to study journalism after having a life long passion for writing. She began her career as a reporter for the Uxbridge Times Journal and moved on to freelance work for various publications after her and her husband welcomed their daughters. She has been published in various Durham Region newspapers, the Durham Parent Magazine as well as Equine Wellness. Jennifer continues to follow her dreams as a wife, mother and journalist and is so excited to join the team at Kawartha411.

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