November 12, 2018

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Bye Babinsky: trustee ends 23-year stint on school board

Mike Babinsky is retiring after 23 years as a Winnipeg School Division trustee. (Boris Minkevich / Winnipeg Free Press Files)</p>

Mike Babinsky is retiring after 23 years as a Winnipeg School Division trustee. (Boris Minkevich / Winnipeg Free Press Files)

AFTER 23 years, Mike Babinsky is closing the book on his role as a Winnipeg School Division (WSD) trustee.

Sometimes controversial, always colourful, Babinsky confirmed Thursday he has decided not to run again in Ward 8 after being elected in six straight terms.

He said it was time for him to make a change.

“It just came naturally,” said Babinsky, who was first elected in 1995. “These last 23 years in politics have been an incredible experience, but the time has come for me to move on.”

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AFTER 23 years, Mike Babinsky is closing the book on his role as a Winnipeg School Division (WSD) trustee.

Sometimes controversial, always colourful, Babinsky confirmed Thursday he has decided not to run again in Ward 8 after being elected in six straight terms.

He said it was time for him to make a change.

"It just came naturally," said Babinsky, who was first elected in 1995. "These last 23 years in politics have been an incredible experience, but the time has come for me to move on."

Babinsky was known for speaking out when he supported or disagreed with board decisions or members. He was censured four times during his career.

Mike Babinsky</p>

Mike Babinsky

Among causes he championed were proposing that playgrounds be declared essential structures by the province to make them eligible for capital funding, and tracking how much time students were spending on school buses and waiting for buses in cold temperatures.

"I want to thank all my constituents in the Winnipeg School Division and especially want to thank all the thousands of people who placed their confidence in me and gave (me) the honour of serving them and representing them six times, winning six elections in a row and therefore being on the Winnipeg School Division board of trustees from 1995 to 2018," he said in a telephone interview.

"It was an honour to serve and play a part in helping and just being there for my community... I can say for sure it was a journey well worth taking. I tried my best to do my part to ensure our children got the best education possible as they are our future."

When Babinsky won his third WSD term in 2002-06, he was elected with more votes than any other trustee.

Asked if there were any memories or highlights that stood out over his career, Babinsky said "thousands of them."

Babinsky said he doesn’t have a plan for what’s next for him.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:50 AM CDT: Final

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