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VIDEO: Charlie Hodge declares this council term his last

The next city council elected in Kelowna will not include Charlie Hodge.

Hodge, who was first elected in 2008 said this term will be his last.

The former journalist suffers from emphysema and now wheels along an oxygen tank wherever he goes, just about 24/7.

"I'm 69 and my lungs are 93," said Hodge. "My lungs have quit basically."

He said he will miss the give-and-take of debate in council chambers and the camaraderie.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"Twenty years of being in the game," is how he describes it.

"We walk away as friends despite the fact that we fight like cats and dogs at the table," he said.

Hodge still has 2 and a half years left to serve, yet this is not the first time he's done an interview that sounds like a last farewell.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia, 2019

Back in 2019, he said, in an interview with KelownaNow, that he didn't expect to live through that council term.

"Chances are good I won't," he said back then.

But he did live through that term, obviously, and went on to get re-elected once again.

Still, he insists that this term is truly his last.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

He interrupted some gardening in his backyard to speak to KelownaNow for his article.

"The writing is on the wall and it's not in my favour," said Hodge. "You can hear it in my voice, I don't talk as well, I mutter a lot."

Things have gotten testy around Kelowna City Council chambers lately, with items such as wage increases for council creating divisions, but Hodge insists that has nothing to do with his decision.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"It's just a matter of time. I won't be able to put in another four years after these two," he said.

When he does leave council, the one thought he would leave to council members is to always consider the future.

"It's not about you," said Hodge.

"It's about your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren and your great, great-grandchildren."

The next civic election is in the fall of 2026.

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