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Headline news was made earlier today in Toronto when its mayor, David Miller announced that he would not be running again for a third term in 2010. At a press conference today at City Hall, he revealed his desire to spend more time with his young children as a contributing factor to his decision.
As Sun Media's Bryn Weese writes today, Miller had privately already come to this decision after his mayoral victory in 2006. Apparently, he had already foresaw the demands of his prestigious job being ones that would be pressing for a dedicated father.
Said Miller: “When I was a councillor, the demands on me and my family were significant. After my election as Mayor, the pressures on me as a father and as a husband became immense, and I realized then were I to be re-elected in 2010, and serve until 2014, my daughter would be in university and my son would be about to graduate from high school. This would not allow me ever to have been there for them in the way they deserve.”
Speculation has risen that Miller's decision to willingly step down as Toronto's mayor may have been prompted by his declining popularity. Following a summer that included a 39-day strike of city workers, it is possible that Miller saw the writing on the wall.
While some may take this as a sign of Miller's wish to duck responsibility and not own up to the demands of Torontonians, he insists that he will not be a “lame duck” mayor for his final 14 months in the position. As Charlene Close of 680News writes on their website, Miller looks forward to being able to concentrate harder on city business instead of campaigning.
Miller's announcement has come just days after one of his finest gestures as Toronto's mayor. Dressed in a swank black blazer at Toronto's ManifesTO hip-hop festival this past Sunday at Nathan Phillips Square, Miller addressed the crowd to announce the declaration of September 21st as the International Day of Peace in Toronto. The announcement was met with applause and gratitude.
While some may miss Miller, others likely look forward to a new mayor of Canada's largest city. Who that will be will not be determined until November of next year. Love him or hate him though, Miller will certainly be remembered.