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St. Paul Council Member Bostrom abruptly announces retirement, opening Ward 6 seat

December 13, 2018 GMT

Dan Bostrom, the longest-serving member of the St. Paul City Council, will retire at the end of December, opening a seat that hasn’t been vacant in more than 20 years.

Bostrom unexpectedly announced his retirement at the end of the council meeting Wednesday, reading a short statement during the time when council members typically share news from their wards.

“It’s with a great sense of peace that I announce my retirement from the St. Paul City Council effective 31 December, 2018,” Bostrom said. “I want to thank the various mayors and many colleagues that I had the pleasure to serve with on the council over the past 23 years, and I want to especially express my gratitude to the good people of Ward 6, who entrusted me to act as their representative on the council. It’s been my deepest honor to have earned your respect and trust.”

Once Bostrom had finished speaking, his fellow council members rose to their feet to applaud him.

Council President Amy Brendmoen promised that the council will honor Bostrom at its final meeting of the year, scheduled for Dec. 19.

“You’ve had a wonderful run of service here and I think that there’s a lot of people who would like to acknowledge the work that you’ve done here,” she said, adding, “I’m shocked.”

Bostrom, 78, grew up on the East Side of St. Paul and joined the council in 1996, after a nearly 30-year career as a St. Paul police officer and nearly 10 years on the St. Paul school board.

Because Bostrom is retiring in the middle of his council term, an interim council member will fill his seat until Dec. 31, 2019. The council must choose that person within 30 days after Bostrom’s last day.

This is the second departure from the 7-member council this year. In January, Council Member Russ Stark left for a job in Mayor Melvin Carter’s office. Stark’s legislative aide, Samantha Henningson, filled the Fourth Ward seat until Council Member Mitra Jalali Nelson took office in September.

The entire council will be up for re-election in November, with new terms starting in January 2020. Before Bostrom’s announcement, two women had already announced their candidacy for the Sixth Ward seat.

Emma Nelson • 612-673-4509