If you had told me three years ago, as I was entering my third quarter transition, that I would be involved in politics I probably would have scoffed at the idea. In reality, I had taken a run once before at Municipal politics in 1999. My grandfather spent several years in the 1930s and 1940s deeply involved in civic government. It was something I had a minor interest in but had been exposed to heavily ever since I moved to Princeton back in 1986.
Radio News Then Newspaper Reporting
I instantly became a reporter as one of the many duties I assumed as the Assistant Manager of the local radio station. The job included the morning show, advertising sales and news gathering with a focus on local government. When I left that job and ended up at a local newspaper I had some of the same duties. When I became owner/publisher one of the things I did eventually assume was reporting duties with a focus on local government.
The Love/Hate Relationship
Over the years I saw many different local governments come and go. I even covered a number of the local elections. Not once during that time did I ever see myself as part of such an organization. Town Councils were great sources of news content even if they were not cooperative, and in most cases they were. Then changes in how local government viewed the role of local media shifted how we all did business with each other.
Shutting The Doors To Our Business
A drop in advertising revenue from local government contributed to difficulties we experienced with our newspaper. However, ad revenues were also down across the board and changes in the industry were shifting a lot of things around. The digital technology of the day soon spelled the end of small town independent newspapers. When we decided to close the doors I was asked more than once if I had considered local politics as my next move.
Two And-A-Half Year Wait
The next municipal election was still over two years away but the question kept surfacing over and over again. I eventually started considering it as a potential ‘next step’ although we had already switched our lives to focus on turning two part-time established hobbies into full-time careers. That was successful and marked our third quarter transition. However, I still saw room for additional challenges in my life and tossed my hat in the ring.
My First Term As Councillor
I ended up winning a seat on our local Town Council in a race that included 14 other Candidates. Early into this position it has become apparent to me that this is a good fit for where I am in my life. I have a great deal of freedom as a work-from-home entrepreneur and so far, the steep learning curve has been eased with a lot of support coming from the municipal level. What will I be doing in five years? I’d like to think I’ll still be chasing challenges.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.