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It's official -- Kelly won't return to Council

City Councilman Jack Kelly, the Northeast Republican who has served three terms in two separate Council stints, made it official on Monday: He will not be back next year.

Kelly, who has been an at-large member since 2004, when he returned to Council after a 12-year hiatus. He was Seventh District councilman from 1988-1992.

His retirement was expected. See his press release below:

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On January 17, 2011, in a statement, Philadelphia City Councilman-At-Large Jack Kelly formally announced his plan to retire at the end of his current term, and not seek re-election. In his statement the Councilman said:

"Today I want to announce that at the end of my current term, I plan to retire from my position as a Philadelphia City Councilman-at-Large. After over thirty years of public service to the Citizens of Philadelphia, I will retire with a deep and profound sense of gratitude and accomplishment.

I am sincerely grateful to the Citizens of Philadelphia who supported and voted for me throughout the years, and entrusted me to represent them as their voice in Philadelphia City Council—it was an absolute honor and privilege. I am truly grateful to my family especially my wife of 42 years Kathy, son, and daughters, for their love, support, and understanding throughout the years. I want to thank my supporters who sacrificed their time, resources, and money in an effort to assist me during re-elections. I want to recognize and thank my colleagues for their guidance, friendship, and support throughout the years. Although we did not always agree on every issue, I truly believe that together we have made immense strides in making Philadelphia the greatest City in the Nation to live, work, and visit. I consider them all friends, and wish them the very best in their future endeavors. I want to genuinely thank my staff, for all of their hard-work and dedication. It is because of their efforts, I have been able to assist so many Philadelphians.

In retirement, I will take solace in knowing that I have made a positive difference in so many Philadelphians lives. I am humbled by all of the appreciation that Citizens have expressed to me over the years for: fighting against the closure of libraries in the City; crafting legislation that ensures our firefighters have protective ear equipment which prevents hearing loss; implementing Project Lifesaver which assists our police officers save the lives

Councilman-At-Large Jack Kelly Formally Announces His Decision to Retire 2 of 2

of those who suffer from Autism, Alzheimer's, and various forms of dementia; lobbying to expand our economic base through business tax reductions; voting against property tax increases; passionately fighting for better animal care and control standards, and moving Philadelphia toward a No-Kill policy; introducing legislation which enables the Philadelphia Police Department to easily track stolen goods, and inhibits criminals abilities to sell stolen property; securing funding to support the wonderful arts and cultural institutions throughout our City; holding hearings to ensure that Philadelphia's Colleges and Universities are safe and prepared to prevent a situation like the one which occurred at Virginia Tech in 2007; bringing awareness to the deadly staph infection Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus more commonly referred to as MRSA; resolving countless quality of life and constituent issues which affect our streets & neighborhoods.

After I leave office, I am sure that I will miss being in a position to have a direct impact on many of the issues which are important to our City however, I plan to continue living in Northeast Philadelphia, and will remain an active member in my community. I did not take my decision to retire lightly however, after careful consideration I concluded, that now is the time. I am very grateful that both myself and my wife are in good health, and we plan to spend more time together traveling and visiting our loved ones and friends throughout the United States and abroad.

As for now, I will continue to do the work which the people have elected and entrusted me to do, and I will do it to the best of my ability until I leave office in January 2012."

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