Walsh will not seek re-election
Calling himself a public servant more than a politician, Denis Walsh has walked away from another run for office.
Walsh, who earlier announced plans to run in the Nov. 19 civic election, said yesterday (Sept. 26) he hasn’t been comfortable with that decision since he made it in June.
“But, after I made up my mind, when I woke up Saturday morning, I thought I’d be doubting myself, but I felt great,” Walsh said.
There are many reasons why he’s opting to not run for a second term, Walsh said.
“I want to take time for things that are really important in life,” he said as he held Theo, his four-month-old grandson — and first grandchild — outside Moviemart, his Seymour Street video store.
“I have a struggling business,” Walsh added, “and I also want to be there for my family.
“There is no pension at city council and there is no pension for small businessmen. I have to be selfish and think about myself and my family.”
With his voice quivering for a few moments, Walsh said he needs “to take time for things that are really important in life.”
Another factor he has to consider, he said, is a new business venture he and a friend have begun.
Walsh and Harry Bal, with whom he bought the former Rafter G Hotel, turning it into the Crossroads Inn before selling it, are in the process of buying the Travelodge in Salmon Arm.
Plans are to hire an on-site manager and run the business from Kamloops, but it will still require Walsh to be out of town often.
Looking back on his three years as a city councillor, Walsh said he was humbled and he thanked everyone for their support.
He said there were many times he was in a minority on council decisions, but he never doubted he was representing the people.
“There were times when it was eight to one,” he said, “but I was firm in my own beliefs so, it was OK to be that one.”
Walsh said he hopes people who believe in “intelligent development” and who will promote “a greater connection between city administration and voters” will step up and run in the election.
Walsh said he hopes the next council will take advantage of the “ton of human resource in this community up at the university and in retired people and so many others who are not being accessed.”
Walsh thanked his friend, Dale McRann, who attended the news conference, for helping him to make up his mind.
He said he has relied on McRann throughout their friendship for wisdom and guidance.
“And he really didn’t need a two-by-four to help me make up my mind on this. We just talked a lot.”
Walsh didn’t rule out running for public office sometime in the future.
As for the parkade counter-petition process now proceeding in the city — Walsh earlier said that, as a city councillor, he would not sign the document, which, entering this week, had amassed 6,100 signatures — he smiled when asked if he might now add his name.
“You know, I guess I could now,” he said.
“I’m gonna have to think about that.”