Belak said she has given the decision some thought over recent weeks and has decided it is time for her to move on after nine years on council, adding any healthy organization needs to have “new blood.” Belak had expressed hesitation about stepping down after this term because she was concerned a new council might try to reverse the city’s direction on sustainability initiatives, but she said she is not concerned about that any longer.

“I think that’s within the corporation here, and it cant go wrong now,” she said.

Belak said she was very excited to be a part of the decisions around water security and initiating construction of the Calvin Kruk Centre for the Arts, to name a few highlights, and has thoroughly enjoyed her time as councillor.

“It has been great, I have enjoyed it all, and I encourage anyone looking for a challenge and an interesting occupation to run for council.”

She said she will continue to work as a home care nurse in a part-time relief role with the local health unit, and plans to use her free time to spend with her granddaughter and to work on a book of poetry she hopes to publish in the near future.

So far, all but one member of the current council has decided whether they will seek re-election this November. Mayor Mike Bernier and councillors Cheryl Shuman, Terry McFadyen and Sue Kenny have said they will run again for their respective seats, while councillor Bud Powell will not, and councillor Theresa Gladue remains undecided.

Nomination packages are now available at City Hall. The official declaration period is between Oct. 4-14, and the election takes place on Nov. 19.