Councillor Gaul: Say it Ain’t So…
– Esquimalt’s favourite municipal councillor won’t seek re-election
By Tim Morrison
The community of Esquimalt just won’t be the same after the dust clears this fall following the municipal elections. Councillor Ali Gaul, first elected in 2008, announced recently that she will not seek re-election. She is leaving for admirable reasons to concentrate on family and her career in the health sector.
A founding member of the Esquimalt Residents Association, Gaul is credited with having led the charge to save our cherished Archie Browning Sports Centre and in mobilizing hundreds of local families into paying closer attention to the actions of Municipal Hall. She is articulate, thoughtful, and speaks with depth, common sense, and intelligence.
Her ears are as strong as her voice. She always listens to the community, contemplates carefully on input and makes her decisions based on extensive homework that often includes several hours on the phone with anyone that wants to be heard. She is well-respected and an effective communicator. Her impressive leadership skills and knowledge displayed in her so-called “rookie” term have led many residents to view Gaul as a possible future Mayor of Esquimalt.
In officially announcing her decision to step down, Gaul stated: “In April of 2007, I stepped to the microphone in Council Chambers for the very first time. That day, I made a promise to my community to be involved in decisions affecting me and my family. That hasn’t changed. I will still be a familiar face in Chambers. I will just be sitting in a different chair. Esquimalt will continue to be the place I am proud to call my home…and I will always care about what happens in my home.”
“Above all, what I hold close, are the friendships and relationships that will be lasting reminders of this intense time in my life. Ties strengthened and forged under pressure that I will always treasure. Thank you for sharing this journey with me,” concluded Gaul.
Meanwhile, Mayor Barb Desjardins, Councillor Meagan Brame, and Councillor Lynda Hundleby have all confirmed they will seek re-election. Councillors Don Linge and Bruce McIlldoon have yet to publicly announce their intensions. Councillor Randall Garrison recently resigned to become the new Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. As for new Council candidates coming forward, the Victoria News is already naming names in an article at this link: http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/victorianews/news/122900594.html
“I do want to reassure everyone that I will continue to work hard for Esquimalt until the end of my term and far beyond,” promises Gaul.
The election will be held on November 19th. Regardless of who makes up the new Council, Esquimalt Municipal Hall will sorely miss the consistent wisdom, work ethic, and willingness to listen that defines Ali Gaul as a true leader of our community. While she will no longer be in politics, she will still remain a loyal and active resident of our fine community and we will continue to be the better for it.
Editor’s Update, June 9th, 2011: A few days after this article was posted, Councillor Don Linge officially announced that he too will not be seeking re-election. Linge, a lawyer, is the longest serving member of Council and is widely respected for his wisdom, sharp analytical mind, calm demeanour, and extensive experience. Like Gaul, Don Linge’s leadership on Council will be sorely missed.