The closure of Wabush Mines and the resulting fallout left the town cash-strapped and Vardy and the council had to make do with what the town had. Those challenges, as tough as they have been, are not the reason he announced via Facebook on April 17 that he won’t be running in the election this fall for the position of mayor.
Vardy told the Aurora a lot has changed for him on the personal side, from having a child to planning for a wedding to new business ventures. It’s a lot of changes in a short period of time, he said, and he wants to step back and enjoy it.
“I want to be a dad for a number of years, I want to go fishing, I have a snowmobile out there that I haven’t put 100 kilometres on since I became mayor. For me, I usually put on several thousand kilometres a year.”
He said it was a hard decision to decide not to run for the job but the four year commitment meant his son would be six or seven before the following election and Vardy wants to be around as much as he can in that time.
The job can be demanding on time, both in the amount of time needed and the immediacy of concerns the mayor needs to deal with.
“I don’t know how many times my wife has been in the kitchen making one of my favourite meals and the phone rings and I’m gone out the door,” he said. “Christmas morning when the siding blew off the rec centre we were sitting down opening gifts with my son. The phone rang and she looked at me and said ‘You may as well go, you know it’ll be ringing again soon.’”
Just because he’s stepping back doesn’t mean he stepping away though. Vardy said he won’t rule out the possibility of running for council, but he hasn’t determined if he will yet. And in the future?
“I have no doubt in my mind I’ll be back,” he said. “But right now this is best decision for me personally and for my family.”