Former Lynchburg Mayor Explains Decision to Step Down - - ABC13

Former Lynchburg Mayor Explains Decision to Step Down


Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Parker Slaybaugh

Lynchburg, VA- In the aftermath of the derecho, there was a big change on Lynchburg City Council. Joan Foster stepped down as mayor making way for council member Mike Gillette to take the position.

Foster has been on Council for 10 years, six as Mayor.

Foster sat down with ABC 13 News to explain her reason for stepping down on Tuesday. Foster says describes being mayor as a labor of love, and she wants to make it clear she did not step down because she was tired of the job. She says it was just time to make room for someone else to lead.

As mayor, Foster was one of Lynchburg's biggest cheerleaders always jumping at a chance to promote the Hill City.

"I love what I do, and I love the people I would meet," said Foster.

But last week she stepped down after six years leading council.

"This is an incredible journey, but it's one that needs to be shared with other council folks," said Foster.

Her decision made way for Gillette to become mayor something Foster says he wanted to do for some time.

"He supported me in the past so I figured I should support him. It was only the right thing to do," said Foster.

But she admits it wasn't the easiest thing to do.

"There is sadness about when you give something up that is part of your inner soul, you have sadness there," said Foster.

It is a sadness that doesn't linger for too long when Foster thinks of her accomplishments as mayor. Among her proudest accomplishments are improving graduation rates by promoting reading, and jump starting the Race and Racism discussions.

"Whenever you can sit down, and talk about the things that have separated you in the past as a community and as a people that is a good day," said Foster.

While she is no longer mayor, Foster still has two years left as a council member and says she has plenty more to accomplish.

"Remember you've got a challenge out there to lose 12 tons, and I'm expecting you all to help me with that because we're lagging behind on that website," she said.

Foster is very passionate about the Live Healthy Lynchburg Challenge. She is still championing Lynchburg's spot in the PetSmart Bark for your Park contest.

Get  more information on the Live Healthy Lynchburg Challenge.

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