Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck announces he will not seek re-election

In a post to Twitter Tuesday, Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck has announced that he will not stand for re-election in the fall of 2018.

Heyck has been mayor of Yellowknife since 2012, says he's 'eager to spend more time with family'

Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck in front of the city's water treatment plant in 2015, which went into operation while Heyck was mayor. Heyck announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election in 2018. (Richard Gleeson/CBC)

Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck has announced that he will not stand for re-election.

The two-term mayor, who was first elected in 2012, stated on Twitter Tuesday that he reached his decision after "much thought, reflection, and consultation with my family."

"I've been an elected official my kids' entire lives, and they've only got a few years with us left at home," Heyck told CBC. "We thought 15 years was a good commitment to the community, and now might be a good time to step aside and let others take over."

Prior to being mayor, Heyck served as a city councillor since 2003, and became deputy mayor in 2006. 

Heyck's statement lists some of his accomplishments while mayor, including overseeing the adoption of Yellowknife's 10-year plan to end homelessness and the city's award-winning wood pellet heating system.

Recently, Heyck has been embroiled in controversy: first, through duelling conduct complaints between himself and city councillor Niels Konge, and more recently as an inquiry was opened into the conduct of municipal enforcement manager Doug Gillard in 2014 under Heyck's tenure. 

When asked if recent events had anything to do with his announcement, Heyck said "not really."

"There's controversial issues that crop up all the time, unanticipated," he said. "That's part of political life, I suppose. These things come and they go, and there's quiet periods, and there's periods that are not so quiet."

Heyck told CBC that he had "absolutely no idea" what was next for him, and said that he would take the next few months to decide on next steps for himself. A known NDP supporter and former president of the NDP riding association for the Northwest Territories, Heyck said that he would "certainly not" be considering a federal run in the next election.

When asked about a future federal run, he said "never say never," with a laugh.

Heyck thanked the citizens of Yellowknife for their support over the past 15 years, saying that "there are always people to give an honest assessment of the job you're doing, and pick you up when you need it.

"We're very fortunate to live in a community where people are so engaged," he said. "It's made the job much much easier over the years, and part of my future will be to continue to contribute back to the community."

With files from Kirsten Murphy

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