BANGOR, Maine — Richard Stone, chairman of the City Council, has decided not to seek re-election.
Stone made the announcement at the end of Monday’s regular council meeting, citing a desire to spend more time at home with his wife, Sue, and his 9-year-old daughter.
“I’m proud to call Bangor my home and it’s been my home all my life,” the 62-year-old said, his voice cracking with emotion. “I love Bangor and I’ll miss serving the citizens.”
Stone served two terms on the City Council in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was the chairman in 1991. He also represented Bangor in the Maine House of Representatives before he was elected to the council again in 2004.
He was selected as City Council chairman last November in a narrow vote ahead of Susan Hawes.
During his time as head of the council, Stone saw a longtime city manager leave, faced an unsuccessful recall, lost a 2010 budget battle to keep taxes flat and helped draw down municipal support for the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront. He also helped direct the city to work more closely with sister cities such as Brewer and has overseen the latest efforts to bring a new arena to Bangor.
“Bangor is a special place. The city has challenges, but we’ve always risen to meet them,” he said.
Stone is a former director for WESCO Distribution, the parent company of Standard Electric Co., but recently retired. In addition to his 9-year-old daughter, Stone has three grown children.
The City Council has nine at-large members whose terms are staggered so that only three seats are open in any given year. The three-year terms of Stone, Hawes and Hal Wheeler expire in 2010. Hawes and Wheeler have not said whether they would seek re-election.
The deadline for candidates to file with the city clerk’s office is Sept. 3.