Charlottetown Deputy Mayor Stu MacFadyen says the city needs some new blood.
© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
James Walker, right, member of the local Masonic order, greets Stu MacFadyen, left, deputy mayor of Charlottetown and Mayor Clifford Lee during Lee's New Years levee. File photo
After 14 years on city council and close to 50 years with the City of Charlottetown in some shape or form, MacFadyen, 72, says he will not be seeking re-election when voters head to the polls in November to elect a new council.
"I had my term at it. I think that 14 years is enough (and) I think we need new blood in there,'' MacFadyen said in an interview on Tuesday.
MacFadyen was first elected to city council in November 2000 for Ward 5 (Spring Park) and was appointed deputy mayor in 2003. He attended St. Dunstan's University, UPEI and UNB.
He ran unopposed in 2010.
"I've had some real good times, no doubt about it. I live in a fantastic ward.''
His career with the city started as a teacher at Prince Street School, where he taught from 1965-73. That was before the province took over city schools in 1973. Not only has he watched his students grow up to be voters, he watched some of them serve with him on council. His former students include current city councillors Mitchell Tweel and Danny Redmond, as well as former city councillor Philip Brown.
MacFadyen was also a baseball coach in the 1960s and managed the Simmons Sport Centre between 1973 and 2000.
"In 1973 I was approached by the city . . . asking me if I would continue on with the city. They said they were building a rink and wanted me to run it.''
The man who approached him was none other than P.E.I. Sports Hall of Famer Charlie Ryan, whom MacFadyen calls his mentor.
"I thought about it. The money was good, better than what the teachers were getting and I had a young family. Best move I ever made.''
MacFadyen decided to make the jump to municipal politics in 2000 because "my phone wouldn't stop ringing. It was amazing how many calls I got from people in (Ward 5) and they said 'we want you to run'.''
One of the projects he's most proud of since then is building the CARI Complex.
"What an addition it made to the lives of a lot of people, not just kids. Seniors and all citizens are able to swim, exercise and skate (under one roof).''
He also takes pride in the work to continue preserving Victoria Park, calling it "my favourite place of all over the world''.
Mayor Clifford Lee says MacFadyen's wisdom and demeanor will be missed around the council table. MacFadyen also served under former mayor George MacDonald.
"He was always a member of council that I could go to bounce ideas off,'' said Lee. "Stewy was always very open and honest. He's been my deputy mayor since day one and a fellow could not ask for anybody more loyal than Stu MacFadyen, I can tell you that.''
The question on Lee's mind is what MacFadyen, who isn't known to sit around much, will do next.
MacFadyen isn't sure himself, saying he'll continue to do what he's done all along, take one day at a time.
"I've been blessed. I'm 72 now (and) my health is good.''