With Mayor Irvine Ferris announcing he will not be seeking re-election in this coming election, Portage la Prairie’s City Council members caught up with PortageOnline to share their reactions to the news.

Councilor Ryan Espey says when he heard the news, he definitely wasn’t expecting it.

“When I heard that I was a little bit in shock, I will say it's made me wonder what’s next,” explains Espey. “it makes for an interesting scenario going forward to the election. Mayor Ferris will definitely be missed, and he's done an amazing job while he was mayor and on council before that, and there are going to be some big shoes to fill.”

Espey says that he and Ferris have been working together long before their work with city council, as Ferris was his supervisor at the Agassiz Youth Centre.

Councilor Brent Budz had a different reaction, saying that he actually wasn’t too surprised when he heard the news.

“He has mentioned to me in the past about wanting to spend some time with his family and travel,” says Budz. “I’m very happy for him.”

He explains that Ferris has always believed in Portage and has put the city in an amazing place to succeed going forward. 

Councilor Sharilyn Knox mentions that she’s left with some mixed feelings after the announcement, as she’s really enjoyed having the opportunity to work alongside him.

“He is a joy in our community,” explains Knox. “He has a great sense of humour and a great sense of community. He likes to get involved and to know people, and when you really get to know him, and you also get to know some of the people in his life, it shows what kind of a human being he is. He's really caring and people want to have him as a part of their lives.”

She notes that she’s very happy for him to be able to enjoy his retirement years.

Councilor Preston Meier says he supports Ferris’ decision to step away, and even though he hasn’t been involved in Portage politics for much time, it didn’t take long for him to appreciate how special of a leader he was.

“This is my first term on council and I know that Mayor Ferris has been really an extremely good leader,” mentions Meier. “The city is certainly going to miss his, his guidance, and his leadership.”

He goes into detail saying that he’s a little disappointed, as he believes Ferris could easily win a third term as Mayor.

The councilors all agree that Ferris will be missed as the mayor of Portage, as he’s someone that’s been a great leader and community member.

The Municipal Election will take place on October 26th.