ST. PETERSBURG — Herb Polson has decided he won't seek re-election to the City Council seat he has held since 2006.
"I want to do something else," said Polson, 62. "Smell the roses. Watch my grandson grow up."
Polson was appointed to the District 1 seat, which represents the city's westernmost neighborhoods, in 2006 when Rick Kriseman ran for the state house. He won election to the seat a year later, beating Bob Kersteen, who has said he is thinking about making another bid for the seat this year.
"I can assure with 100 percent certainty that my decision has nothing to do with Bob Kersteen or anybody else who would have wanted to run against my candidacy," Polson said.
A former intelligence officer with the U.S. Navy, Polson has a 35-year career with the city. He joined the Police Department in 1976 as a criminal justice planner. From 1985 to 2006, he served as the city's lobbyist.
He said his proudest achievements on the council included pushing a ban on street solicitation that the council passed last year. Several other council members have claimed credit for that initiative, as well.
"I was the person who would not let go of the panhandling situation," Polson said.
A stickler for process, Polson believes he helped the public understand how and why the council did things.
He said he won't seek any other type of involvement.
"I suspect you won't see me around City Hall," he said. "I can occupy my time. That won't be a problem."
His constituents won't see a dropoff in his work, he vowed.
"There will be no denigration of my enthusiasm and my representation of them over the next 10 months," he said.