The City of Morden has made an announcement on social media announcing the resignation Councilor Florian Lassnig, one year into his first term.
Lassnig said his dad was here visiting from Austria, a little while ago, and it became apparent he would benefit from family support closer to home.
"That brings a lot of feelings, and a lot of big decisions for us as a family, of course, who are fairly integrated in our community here, but on the other hand, I'm the only family he has. This is what we decided to do as a family, to support my dad in Austria."
Lassnig moved to Manitoba from Austria twenty years ago, and has been living in Morden with his wife for the last ten years.
"This is the time where we have to pull together as a family and say, 'If one of us needs support, we need to provide that support.'"
Looking back on his short time in office, Lassnig wishes he was able to accomplish more.
"The highlights are 100%. There are opportunities on sitting on council, and getting to know community members that are stakeholders in our community that are just amazing. That starts from council colleagues who accepted me from day one as their equal. Who supported me, gave me advice whenever I needed it, when it comes to budgeting and looking over the budget. That was really, really beautiful to see."
Lassnig noted he took the feedback to heart, he had many sleepless nights trying to problem solve, often realizing many of the decisions made by council are out of its hands and subject to other levels of government.
The inner workings of the city were a real eye-opener, noted Lassnig.
"The city staff that works tirelessly every day, Monday to Friday, to do whatever they can with the financial means they have to make the city run was an absolute eye opener. I would have never thought how complex this machinery of running a municipal government actually is. Although on the outside, it might sometimes not look like a smooth machine, how well-oiled this machine actually works. Seeing it from the inside was something that was a once in a lifetime opportunity for sure."
He leaves advice for anyone looking to fill the vacant seat.
"For anybody who wants to run, I encourage you to have a good connection to the community wanting to change things. That's a big driver. It is not an easy job, and it's always said that you have to grow a thick skin, which I think, is not the right approach. I think councillors should not have to grow a thick skin, and become insensitive to people to the opposite. They should become more sensitive and more with the ability to hear the people that are talking to them."
Morden Mayor Brandon Burley had this to say about the outgoing Councilor,
"Council is going to miss Flo. We understand that life imposes its own situations and parameters on our experiences. And right now, he has obligations with family that you have to attend to it. We certainly understand that. He's been a bright light on that council. I think it's fair to say, 'To meet Flo, is to love Flo.' So, we will definitely miss him. We also understand where life is taking him right now. We wish him all the best in future endeavors, and hope he knows if life brings him back to Morden, he'll always have a place here for him and his family."
A by-election will be held in December, with a date to be set soon. Burley acknowledged the efforts being made to focus on the provincial election at this time, and to allow candidates to consider running for the position to serve the next three years.
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, PembinaValleyOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the PembinaValleyOnline app.