Maple Ridge Coun. Tyler Shymkiw has announced he will not be seeking re-election during the October municipal elections.
Shymkiw is in his first term on council, but said he needs to step away to focus on his young family and professional career. He explained his wife Deanna is expecting in August, and they already have a son, two-and-a-half-year-old Preston.
“Between those family commitments and where my business is at, it was just a good time to step back, and focus on my family,” said Shymkiw.
He released the news on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
His business creates special effects for the movie and television industry.
Shymkiw said being a councillor is busy, particularly during the early part of the term.
“It has been a great experience for me,” he said, adding that some of the issues he ran on did come to fruition.
He championed the issue of saying no to more payday loan stores in the city, and soon the province was regulating interest rates for these businesses.
He also wanted to see more investment in sports and recreation. Council got public approval for borrowing $50 million for facilities upgrades.
“To see where we got with that was encouraging, and I hope the next council will carry that on,” he said.
He said the next council will have to continue working toward more commercial and industrial development in the city.
He also gave some senior staff members some endorsements, lauding city hall’s hiring of Lino Siracusa as manager of strategic economic initiatives, and saying Paul Gill as CAO will be a tremendous asset to the city going forward.
“He [Gill] is absolutely one of the finest people I’ve every met, and he’s hard working. He’s the first guy in and the last guy out.”
He also called his council colleagues “an awesome group of people.”
This council has wrestled with homelessness, and Shymkiw said it has been divisive.
“I think this community has a big heart, and the next council needs to find ways to bring the community together on these issues.”