For Highlands East Coun. Joan Barton, choosing not to run for a third term was a matter of managing a busy life.

“I have other things in life to attend to at this point in time. Everyone has times in their life when they get busier in their personal life than they want to be,” Barton said.

The two-term councillor will be the only incumbent not to return to council, with her current colleagues all re-elected or acclaimed to their seats. She participated in her last Highlands East council meeting Nov. 7.

She said Highlands East council worked well together over her eight years there and she was glad to be a part of projects such as building a new library for Wilberforce and the curling club rebuild.

“I was a part of many things that the collective council did that I was really happy about,” Barton said.

In the wake of her departure, Barton’s Ward 4 saw four people run to fill her seat, with Ruth Strong emerging victorious in the Oct. 22 election.

“I’m glad there was a good, democratic fight,” Barton said. “I have every reason to think that Ruth will do a good job.”

Barton said Highlands East council will continue to try to tackle issues important to the community after her departure, such as the short-term rental accommodations issue.

There is a lot someone learns as a councillor, Barton said.

“You learn a tremendous amount when you’re on council, because you’re always having to learn about the next thing that has suddenly come up.

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