Staunton City Councilwoman Rita Wilson announced she will not seek re-election and will retire from the council after 16 years of service.
Wilson released the following statement:
"I will not seek to return to the Staunton City Council in the May elections. My 16 years on Council have been extremely rewarding, and I believe we have been able to do some things that will help shape a strong future for our city. However, as much as I have enjoyed being on council, it can be stressful, and it certainly demands a lot of your personal time and energy. Those demands and some pending challenges in my personal and family life now prompt me to turn to other things.
I want to thank the citizens of Staunton for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this great city. Their confidence in me has really been humbling. I leave with real pride for so much we have been able to do: the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, vital, well-used parks and recreational facilities, increasing attention to the needs of our increasingly older population, but I am particularly proud of the city's partnership with Habitat for Humanity in literally building a new community on Johnson Street at Green.
While serving on City Council has been my main focus, I have also served as liaison to the Valley Program for Aging; liaison to the Youth Commission; I was assigned to the Senior Task Force; I’ve volunteered at the Augusta Free Clinic; participated in several theatre productions. At the State level, I’ve been active in the Virginia Municipal League, serving on two committees and serving one term as Vice Chairperson of the Legislative Committee.
I am also a member of the Virginia Federation Colored Women’s Club.
Staunton is very much alive and growing. Recent Councils have laid a very strong foundation, but some great challenges lie ahead. With some sadness and a lot of pride, and no shortage of good memories, I am pulling back and letting a new generation of leadership step up.
I will be watching Council in the years ahead and, as those who know me realize too well, that I will remain active and attentive to the needs of the City."