After four terms, Bill Karsten has announced he won’t run again in the municipal election this year.
The District 3 – Dartmouth South – Eastern Passage councillor made the announcement in a news release and on the Rick Howe Show on News 95.7 on Monday morning.
“It has been an incredible honour and privilege to serve in this capacity for what will be 16 years at the end of this term,” Karsten said in the news release.
Karsten is also the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, a role he’ll be leaving after his term ends in September.
“It is so rewarding to be part of a national effort that produces unprecedented results from successful advocacy to the Federal Government for municipal priorities such as infrastructure, transit funding, housing, rural broadband and so much more,” the news release said.
First elected in 2004 to the former District 7 — Portland-East Woodlawn, Karsten won by 123 votes. He ran unopposed and was acclaimed to the same seat in 2008. In 2012, he ran in the new District 3, beating former colleague Jackie Barkhouse by 68 votes. He ran unopposed in 2016 and was acclaimed again.
Karsten is the second incumbent to announce he won’t run in this fall’s municipal election. Coun. Stephen Adams announced in October, 28 years after he was first elected, that he wouldn’t be seeking another term.
Adams’ announcement has resulted in a crowded field of candidates in his District 11 – Spryfield – Sambro Loop – Prospect Road, with 10 names already on the ballot.
Karsten said some in his community knew he wasn’t re-offering and there are prospective candidates considering a run.
There have been calls to postpone this fall’s municipal election, scheduled across the province for October 15, and Karsten told the Rick Howe Show he believes the province’s decision to leave the date unchanged is a “terrible disservice to democracy.”
With candidates unable to knock on doors and run traditional campaigns due to COVID-19, Karsten said there’s an unfair advantage for incumbent councillors.
Karsten will continue to serve as councillor till the election.