Colorado Springs City Council President Pro Tem Richard Skorman is resigning. The long-time Colorado Springs businessman will end his term on December 31. Skorman handily won re-election in April, beating three challengers for what would have been a four-year term.
Ultimately, he said the decision to leave is a sad one, citing unforeseen business challenges from the pandemic as the reason.
"When I ran in April, I thought COVID would be over right now. I didn't realize so many people wouldn't be vaccinated and this would be raging the way it is right now," he said. "So unfortunately, with great sorrow, I have to focus on our businesses full-time."
Skorman and his wife and business partner Patricia Seator own and operate Poor Richard's Bookstore in downtown Colorado Springs, as well as the accompanying café, restaurant and toy store.
"We have plans for a big expansion out back ...and that's what I'm going to be really working on," Skorman said. "We've been really increasing in the bookstore as well and we have a big competitor moving in a couple blocks away."
Denver-based Tattered Cover Bookstore recently announced plans to expand to Colorado Springs.
Skorman praised the remaining council members as well as city staff.
"I feel like I'm leaving things in good hands," he said. "I really feel bad that I ran for office in April and thought I was going to be able to have our businesses back up to normal again by now."
As for his remaining time on council, Skorman said he'll work to finish the budget for next year and perhaps find a way to increase park funding, as Colorado Springs voters rejected a measure to increase revenue for trails, open spaces and parks in this week's election.
"I want to make sure that whoever replaces me is up to speed on all the issues that I know about for our district and for the whole city," he said.
Per city policy, council will go through an appointment process to fill the seat with a start date of January 1. The District 3 spot in the southwestern part of the city, which he represents, will be up for election in 2023.
Skorman said he plans to stay "as active as he can" in his role as a board member for the Fountain Creek Watershed District.
"I very much care and I'm not going to go away and stop caring," he said. "Fountain Creek is a huge priority for me. TOPS is a huge priority, and affordable housing. The things that been working on up till now, I would love to still be able to help."
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