One year after falling in the Ottawa mayor race to Jim Watson, Larry O'Brien told CBC News he should not have sought a second term.

WATCH CBC NEWS OTTAWA AT 5, 5:30, 6: Adrian Harewood's sit-down interview with former Ottawa mayor Larry O'Brien one year after he lost a mayoral race.

In a sit-down interview with CBC Ottawa at Six anchor Adrian Harewood, O'Brien said he always had a difficult time with the politics side of being mayor.

In a look back at the race he ultimately lost, as well as the 2008-09 winter transit strike and a court case that overshadowed the early part of his term, O'Brien said he was not ready to fight on past the October 2010 municipal election.

"In retrospect, the decision to go a second time was a mistake," he said, "My heart wasn't really in it."

But the former mayor, speaking in a low and somewhat reserved tone of voice, said he could not just walk away from the job. He felt some part of him was invested in the projects the city had approved.

"I've been told by others who seem to be very knowledgeable that you never walk away from that job. It's like a head coach. You find very few head coaches of hockey teams that resign on their own. They're there until they get booted out," he said.

O'Brien commends council on major projects

O'Brien, who resigned as chairman and CEO of Calian Technologies Ltd. to defeat Bob Chiarelli and become the city's 58th mayor in 2006, said he no longer watches council meeting or follows municipal politics closely.

He did say, though, he keeps an eye on major city projects and how council is being run.

"They're providing a very steady hand to carry on with a number of major projects that we initiated in the previous term," he said, "I think they're doing an excellent job.

"I was the right guy to stop some projects and stir the pot a little bit...get Lansdowne Park running, get the tunnel project moving forward and I think you need a very low-key manager now to carry on and follow through on those thing and that's not easy."

Watch CBC Ottawa at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. to see Adrian Harewood's sit down interview with Larry O'Brien.