Calgary councillor Richard Pootmans won't run in October election

Coun. Richard Pootmans, who has represented Ward 6 on Calgary's west side for the past two terms, will not be seeking re-election.

Pootmans is the third Calgary city councillor to announce he won't be running in the fall

Coun. Richard Pootmans says it has been a 'privilege and an honour' to represent Ward 6 for two terms. (Richard Pootmans/Facebook)

Another city councillor has announced he's not running for re-election this fall.

Richard Pootmans has represented Ward 6 on Calgary's west side for the past two terms.

He told CBC News that for personal reasons, he will not put his name forward for the October municipal election.

"It's been, a cliche I guess, a privilege and an honour to be in this position. I'm so grateful to the residents of Ward 6 for supporting me," said Pootmans.

Time for fresh blood

He likes the job but said the 80-hour weeks do take a toll.

"It can be very long weeks if you attend as many functions as you're invited to, if you participate on as many committees to help move decision-making forward. It's a significant commitment," said Pootmans.

"It's, I think, time perhaps for some fresh eyes, fresh blood to come to council and look at issues a bit differently."

Pootmans' decision is a bit of a surprise. He recently joined the Calgary Police Commission as a council representative after Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart resigned from the commission in February.

Points of pride

Councillors make many big and small decisions during the course of their work.

Pootmans points to the job the city's done on improving connections to Highway 8 and many other projects in his fast-developing ward. But there's another one he points to with pride.

He said he's pleased about what's become an annual gathering for Remembrance Day at Battalion Park and the city's decision to ask for federal historic designation for the site.

Many Canadian soldiers who went overseas in the First World War received their training at a former army camp at the foot of the giant white numbers on the hillside park.

"They started here. This was the number two camp in Canada," said Pootmans. "That was at Camp Sarcee, right in our ward. So, I'm very, very proud of that."

Future plans

As for what's next, it may link to something from his past. 

Pootmans has experience in economic development, but after this fall's election, Pootmans is thinking about some time off before diving into the next challenge.

"Obviously, [economic development] is something of interest. There's also opportunities to do that kind of work at other orders of government as well. And also from the private sector side."

"So I think something of that nature will quite possibly be part of my future."

Council changes in fall

Pootmans is just the latest councillor to choose to not run this fall.

Jim Stevenson was the first to announce he will not be a candidate in October. Brian Pincott announced in February he would not seek re-election.

Another councillor, Andre Chabot, declared his intention to run against Naheed Nenshi for the mayor's chair in the October 16 election.

Theoretically, there could be at least four new councillors around the table this fall.