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Councillor Ryan Mennie says good-bye

There will be one less body at the council table now until November’s city election.

Coun. Ryan Mennie announced at Tuesday’s council meeting that he is moving to Alberta and will finish out the rest of his term on council via telephone.

“I’m very sad to say that this will be my last meeting in person for the rest of my term as councillor here at city hall,” Mennie said. “After 20 years on Vancouver Island and 16 years in Campbell River, my career as a radio broadcaster has me returning to southern Alberta.”

Mennie, who hosts the afternoon show for 97.3 the Eagle, was born and raised in Alberta but moved to Campbell River in 1998.

He was first elected to council in 2008 and is nearing the end of his second term.

The youngest on council, Mennie has been a fierce supporter of families.

He and his wife Ludy have a young daughter and recently welcomed a son to the family.

Coun. Claire Moglove, who has served with Mennie throughout his entire time on council, said the councillor brought a fresh perspective that will be missed.

“Quite surprised to hear of the move and disappointed we won’t have you on council,” Moglove said. “It’s been very refreshing, in particular this term, to have your voice on council and bringing to council the perspective of a younger, family-oriented person, has been invaluable.”

Coun. Andy Adams also acknowledged the work Mennie has done to support local families.

“Your advocacy for children and families in this community over the six years has been consistent and I think goes with your own personal experiences with your family,” Adams said. “I didn’t realize this would be the last time we’d see you in person but I’m used to driving around hearing your voice via the airwaves so having you dial in (to council meetings) will be appropriate.”

Coun. Mary Storry said having Mennie on the phone will be nice, but not the same.

“I will miss you. We will get to chat but it won’t be the same,” Storry said. “It has been an honour to sit beside you.”

Councillors Ron Kerr and Larry Samson also had kind, parting words for Mennie and wished him well in his future endeavours. Samson said he would miss the Mennie family’s friendly faces at the city’s community events.

While Mennie will continue to have a presence at council meetings, he will step down as a director on the Strathcona Regional District board and as chair of the city’s Advisory Planning and Environment Commission. Mennie will also leave holes on the regional district’s hospital board and solid waste board, as well as the Success by 6 Community Council of Partners. Mennie also holds the public safety; school board/city liaison; and youth council portfolios and is a council liaison to Rivercorp.

Mennie thanked council, city staff, and the community for his time as councillor.

“A big thank-you to council, both this term and last, city staff for the incredibly rewarding experience working with all of you in this building, and, most importantly, thank you to the citizens of Campbell River for the opportunity to work for you as a member of council,” Mennie said.

“With my wife’s family here and all the friends we’ve made over the decade, we’ll be back.”

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