By Chris Lewis/September 9, 2021
He’s been there so long, he’s nearly an institution, but Sterling Willis made public Tuesday what has been speculated for weeks – that he is retiring this month from municipal politics in the Town of Paradise.
Willis has served the town for some three decades – the majority of his adult life.
At Tuesday’s public council meeting, the last one before the September 28 election, Willis started his farewell speech by first congratulating someone else, namely Mayor Dan Bobbett, on being acclaimed for another term.
Willis told his colleagues the many friendships he made over the years played a big role in making his time as councillor such a rewarding experience.
“For that, I am truly grateful,” he said.
For the past 30 years, Willis has served as both a councillor and deputy mayor in the Town of Paradise. He was first elected in 1986, and said he has spent the last few weeks reminiscing on the many achievements he has seen council accomplish over that span of time.
“I’m proud of our accomplishments in water and sewer, roadwork, all the new schools and recreation centres, sports fields and playgrounds, hiking trails and the large array of businesses that have moved into the town,” Willis said. “We have certainly come a long way as an enduring and vibrant town.”
Willis sent out a sincere thank you to all of his colleagues both past and present, as well as the Town’s municipal staff.
“I would also like to wish a good luck to the incumbent candidates … It’s really good to see people putting their names forward for candidacy,” he said.
Willis’ speech ended in a round of applause from the rest of council.