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Longtime Saint John Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary not re-offering in May election

Saint John Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary says she will not be re-offering in the May 2021 election.
Saint John Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary says she will not be re-offering in the May 2021 election. City of Saint John

Saint John Deputy Mayor Shirley McAlary is taking a step back from politics, nearly three decades after first being elected onto council.

McAlary says she will not be re-offering in the May municipal election, and jokes she will instead “get my own dog” or perhaps “get a new job.”

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McAlary was first elected to Common Council in 1992 and became deputy mayor that first term to the former Mayor Elsie Wayne.

“I always admired her for the time and energy that she took to attend so many public events, large and small. I did my very best to follow her in that tradition all through my years in public life and I still do,” McAlary said in a news release.

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McAlary went on to become mayor of Saint John from 1995 until 2004.

“We had many challenges in those days and we even had a lot less money but we always pulled through,” she recalled.

“I have so many memories and stories that I probably could write a few books but I do believe that I always faced the challenges.”

McAlary was not in public office from 2004 until 2012, but was elected a councillor again in 2012. She served for four years, then most recently became deputy mayor in 2016.

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She says her greatest joy on the job was meeting new people, and that she’s most proud of the achievements of the city’s workforce — whether it be senior management, unions, first responders and workers.

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“All of them put together have given our city over so many years the competitive edge and made Saint John the envy of so many others,” she said.

McAlary says her time in politics has been a “wonderful experience” and she’s thankful to the people of Saint John.

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