One of Castlegar’s longest-serving city councillors says he won’t be back following this fall’s municipal election.
“I’ve decided this will be my last term,” says Dan Rye, who was first elected in 2011. “I will finish it out and them I’m going to retire and spend some well-earned time with my wife. It’s time for me to move on from political life.”
In addition to 11 years on Castlegar council, Rye served eight years on Gold River council on Vancouver Island, including a stint as mayor. However, “I don’t think anybody should be a lifelong politician. I’ve always said that.”
He says he considered running for mayor in 2018 but decided against it. He has since moved to Balfour, but didn’t think another by-election was needed. Now that Castlegar council has resumed meeting in person, he will be commuting.
“I have a commitment to the citizens of Castlegar and I will fulfill it,” he says. “I will be at the meetings in person.”
Rye says he has made no secret of his plans to anyone who asked, but he publicly announced it Monday during a public hearing.
As for accomplishments, he says the biggest during his time on council was the extensive improvements to Millennium Park.
“It has become a real jewel in the area. It will continue to be a jewel and will continue to be improved on. There are always things you can do down there.”
“It has all made Castlegar a much more beautiful city and somewhere everyone can be proud to live,” he says.
His one regret is that upgrades to the Castlegar and District Recreation Centre did not go ahead. Referenda in 2010 and 2018 were both defeated.
“Somewhere along the line we have to figure out how to get some improvements for that facility because it’s one of the biggest things when people are moving to the area,” Rye says.
“They’re looking for doctors and recreation. Hopefully in the next few years something can be done to improve that facility.”
Once his political career concludes, Rye is hoping that he and his wife can finally do some travelling. He thought they would start doing so when he retired from his longtime job as manager of Kootenay Market at the end of 2019, “but of course we all know how that’s worked out.”