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Bostrom stuns St. Paul City Council with surprise retirement

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St. Paul City Council Member Dan Bostrom surprised his colleagues Wednesday when he announced he'll retire from office in a few weeks. 

Bostrom, who represents the east side of St. Paul, has served on the council since 1996. He made his announcement at the end of a regularly scheduled council meeting.

"I want to thank the various mayors and many colleagues I've had the pleasure to serve with on the council over the past 23 years, and I want to especially express my gratitude to the good people of Ward 6 who entrusted me to act as their representative on the council," said Bostrom. "It's been my deepest honor to have earned your respect and trust."

His resignation appeared to surprise his colleagues, including council President Amy Brendmoen.

"You've had a wonderful run of service here and I think that there's a lot of people that would like to acknowledge the work that you've done here, so ... I'm shocked," said Brendmoen.

Bostrom, a former St. Paul police sergeant, was a vocal advocate during his tenure for more police presence on the streets, especially in the east side neighborhoods he represented. 

When asked why he chose to leave the City Council now, Bostrom was reflective. He said the holidays had him thinking more about the death of his first wife several years ago and the recent death of his adult son.

"I've done enough and it's time to move on," said Bostrom, speaking to MPR News by telephone.  "I've still got a life and I've still got my health, which was restored after the heart attack I had a few years ago — and make the best of what I have left with my wife and the family."

MPR News reporter Tim Nelson contributed to this report.