Albert Koehler will not be seeking a third term on council.
“I have come to the conclusion/decision not to let my name stand for re-election in October,” he said in a letter to mayor and council, and released to the media Tuesday.
Koehler said there were a couple of determining factors in his decision, including his age, his health, spending more time with family, and a desire to knock items off his ‘bucket list.’
“I am not the youngest anymore and have a family now with five grandchildren, aged between two and eight years,” he wrote. “Further, my bucket list does not seem to get shorter when it comes to travel, building a cottage and more time for various projects and activities. My wife is planning to retire and we would like to have more time for doing things together. Well, finally and probably most important, I got quite a health scare some months ago. Something that requires close monitoring with the next ‘inspection’ in coming December/January.”
Koehler was first elected in 2011 and crusaded against perennial tax hikes imposed by city council. He funded his own campaigns in both 2011 and 2014, choosing not to fundraise as most other candidates do.
He said the decision not to run was a difficult one as he very much enjoys the position.
“I feel very honoured to have been elected twice by a good number of our residents,” he wrote. “I feel blessed to have been part of important decisions that we made over the years leading to huge betterments in our city. Many results of these decisions will, as you know, show up later and will have a tremendous impact on a positive change of Prince George.
With seven years on council and eight years as the Honourary Consul of Germany for all of northern B.C. he has served 15 years in public service while chairing an industrial operation until just a few years ago.
“I thank all of you for respecting me and my opinion,” he wrote in his letter to council. “All of you are extremely qualified for continuing with the work on council and I wish you much success at the coming election, and Jillian (Merrick) all the best for the future, wherever it leads you. Further, without the superb leadership of our mayor we would, in my opinion, not have been as successful as we have been and the work at council would not have been as enjoyable as it was (still is). Thanks Lyn.”
He also gave a nod to the administrative staff and thanked them for all the assistance.
Koehler’s decision to not seek re-election means there will be at least two new faces on city council after the October 20 election. Jillian Merrick announced last week that she will not be seeking re-election. Kyle Sampson has announced that will be running for city council.