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August 30, 2012

Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian to Resign

Ed AdrianBurlington City Councilor Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1) is resigning effective September 30. He informed fellow councilors in an email this morning.

Did he do it to spend more time with his family? Adrian tells Seven Days that he's stepping down for a "combination of reasons."

"There's no great revelation there," he says. "I just think the Senate race actually brought some clarity to me and the path I need to choose right now, and it's not one of volunteer political service. It's just the fact that [council service] is a great consumer of time that puts pressure on everything.

"I know that sounds nebulous," he added.

Earlier this year, Adrian launched a campaign for state Senate representing Chittenden County. But he dropped out of that race with just a month to go before the August 28 Democratic primary, saying he had "too many balls in the air" and didn't want to drop one. It was too late to remove his name from the ballot, and Adrian actually received 3615 votes, finishing eighth out of nine candidates. Adrian now believes he could have won had he stayed in the race and continued fundraising and campaigning.

"I definitely think I would have been a contender," he says. "It gives me something maybe to look forward to when I have more time and energy to devote to politics."

Adrian has arguably been the most forceful presence on the 14-member council over the past several years, as his Democratic plurality butted heads with the Progressive administration of former mayor Bob Kiss. Click here to read Shay Totten's excellent 2010 profile of "Burlington's political provocateur."

Adrian says he is "taking a break" from politics. He remains vice chair of the Burlington Democrats but said he would probably resign from that post, too, if there were a contested caucus for his city council seat and he wanted to back one of the candidates; party bylaws ban officers from endorsing in primaries.

Adrian was first elected to the council in 2007 to fill out the term by departing councilor Ian Carleton. He was elected to his third full term this past March, a term that expires in March 2014. Adrian said as recently as July 27 that he planned to serve out the remainder of his term. But on Thursday, he said another 18 months is "more time than I feel I can give right now."

He said he's getting out now, in part, to give his replacement time to get on the ballot for a special election in November.

File photo by Matthew Thorsen

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