Drastic changes coming to Waterloo City Hall

The new year is shaping up to be one of change at City Hall in Waterloo. Coming to the end of her second term, Mayor Brenda Halloran announced she will not be running for re-election.

Councillors Scott Witmer (Ward 1) and Karen Scian (Ward 2) also announced their decisions not to run.

These announcements will leave 40 per cent of the seats in the council open in this year’s municipal election.

Halloran, first elected in 2006, was the first mayor to win re-election since the 1990s. While she has been mayor, the city has grown rapidly and was named Top Intelligent Community in 2007.

The mayor oversaw changes in Waterloo&rsquo;s plan, allowing for the intensification and redevelopment of Uptown. She is also a critic of the region&rsquo;s light rail plan and in an interview with the <em>Waterloo Chronicle </em>she stated that her opposition will be &ldquo;front and centre in 2014.&rdquo;

Councillors Witmer and Scian were also first elected in 2006.

Scian stated in her announcement that: &ldquo;I do philosophically believe in term limits and I do philosophically believe that a key piece of open and transparent government is having fresh bodies come through and represent the community, so that&rsquo;s a big piece of my decision.&rdquo;

Witmer, whose close financial relationship with developers <em>Imprint</em> uncovered in November 2013, did not issue a statement concerning his decision not to run again.

While no one has come forward as a mayoral candidate, it has been reported by the <em>Waterloo Chronicle</em> that Dave MacDonald, former CTV weatherman and Progressive Conservative candidate in Kitchener-Centre, is considering throwing his hat in the ring.

Councillor Jeff Henry (Ward 6) has also been mum on his intentions, stating he will make an announcement in February.

The rest of councillors Melissa Durrell, Angela Vieth, Mark Whaley, and Diane Freeman have all announced their intentions to run for re-election.&nbsp;