One of the longest-serving members of Saskatoon city council will not be seeking re-election this fall.
In a brief statement at city hall Tuesday, Coun. Tiffany Paulsen said she made the decision for the benefit of her young family, and she wanted to “give enough time for potential candidates to seriously consider whether they want to run.”
Paulsen told The Brent Loucks Show Wednesday morning that after 16 years on council, it was time for a change.
The councillor has always managed to juggle a career, politics and family, but said balancing all three had become unsustainable.
Paulsen said demands on her time are more than when she started, and with a young family, she can’t commit the time she once could.
“We live in a world of technology where people are able to access us through email. They expect a prompt reply and I think that’s fair,” Paulsen said.
“My constituents will tell you, they typically receive emails from me between about 11:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. because that’s when I find the time to sit down and get back to everybody.”
While she’s leaving city hall, this isn’t the end of her public service career.
“I feel very strongly that I, along with everybody, have a responsibility to contribute to our community,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen plans to stay involved in the community and already has a few projects in mind she would like to participate in once her term is finished.
She was first elected in Ward 9 at the age of 27, making her the youngest council member ever elected in Saskatoon.
Her 16 consecutive years on the council is topped only by current mayor Don Atchison, who has served 22 years.
At least three council seat races will now have no incumbent when voters head to the polls in October.
Coun. Charlie Clark previously announced a run for mayor, while Coun. Eric Olauson won a seat in the Saskatchewan Legislature during the past provincial election.
The following is Paulsen’s full, unedited statement for the record:
“Your worship – I wanted to take this opportunity with all of you to present to announce that I will not be seeking reelection in the fall 2016 election. I didn’t think I would be using the word retire at this point in my career – and I have mixed emotions about this decision – however, after 16 years in public service – a lot in my life has changed.
“Primarily – that I am now the parent of two very young children – one of which – my daughter – who is starting both school and hockey this fall – the other – well – anyone who is the parent of a two year old little boy knows that is a full time job in and of itself.
“We all know the huge career, family and personal sacrifice one makes when they run for public office. That is why I wanted to announce my retirement now – in order to give enough time for potential candidates to seriously consider whether they want to run. Ward 9 is full of hard working, dedicated and committed citizens – and they deserve only the very best representation.
I would hope that some time would be allotted at our last meeting in September so I can make some more extensive comments and thank yous.”