COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is a major factor in the resignation of four-time City Councilman Richard Skorman.
Skorman, 69, announced Friday that he is stepping down, effective Dec. 31, in the first year of his fourth term.
He said that he wants to devote more attention to four adjacent businesses he owns on a block of North Tejon Street downtown -- particularly, the Poor Richard's restaurant that has been slow to recover from the pandemic and has been closed the summer of 2020.
The restaurant is scheduled to reopen next week.
"I opened these businesses in 1977," Skorman said. "We thought COVID would be over by now. We were successful before COVID but things have changed now. So we're making some changes to spread things out for the safety of our customers and employees. I need to get back to working full time."
Skorman served on the Council from 1999-2007 and was elected again in 2017 and 2021"I; between those terms was an unsuccessful run for mayor against Steve Bach in 2011.
During his time on the Council, Skorman served as president; he also served as Vice Mayor (before the city switched to its current "strong mayor" form of government in 2010) which essentially made him acting mayor in the absence of the elected mayor.
Skorman said that his biggest achievement was leading the effort to help hundreds of Hurricane Katrina evacuees who came to the city in 2005, but listed helping reduce homelessness as another highlight.
One of his biggest disappointments, however, came on Election Day when voters rejected a measure to fund improvements in city parks.
The Council will select a replacement to fill the remainder of Skorman's term; the application process will be discussed in a work session Monday at City Hall.
"I'm hoping that my replacement will be someone from the minority community, or a woman, or someone who can add a bit of diversity and a fresh perspective," he said. "Someone younger."
Skorman won't be part of the selection process.
He took pleasure during the holiday season by dressing as an elf and placing coins in parking meters for customers.