UPDATE | Councilwoman Abel says she won’t seek another term on Langley council, Seligson to run

Langley City Councilwoman Fran Abel said Wednesday she will not run to retain her seat on the city council in November.

The announcement was unexpected. Abel declined to tell the Record when asked on Monday if she had planned to seek election to the post in November, but said then she would make a decision before candidates must file for election in early June.

In a blog post on Wednesday on, Abel said she found her short tenure on the council gratifying, but encouraged others to run to for the seat.

“I have found my city council experience to be many things — educational, demanding, challenging, frustrating, rewarding, discouraging, enlightening, worthwhile and stimulating,” Abel wrote. “I have made many new friends. Working with my fellow council members, city staff and the mayor has been a pleasure. I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to serve my town as a council member.”

“With the economic and environmental changes our country faces, Langley’s future rests with the wise and thoughtful leadership of citizens willing to step forward to meet those challenges,” she added.

Abel, a one-time candidate for the Island County board of commissioners, was appointed to the city council in May 2010 to fill the Position 3 seat vacated by the resignation of Jim Recupero.

Two other seats on the council — those held by Councilman Bob Waterman and Councilman Hal Seligson — will also be on the ballot, as well as the mayor’s position.

Mayor Paul Samuelson has recently declined to say if he will seek a second term.

Likewise, Waterman said he wasn’t yet sure of his future plans.

“I honestly have not yet made a decision,” Waterman said.

Abel said she would run again, if only she were younger.

“If I were 60 or even 65, I would have run again,” she said Thursday.

“It is a very huge commitment, and as I go into the later years of my life, I want to be doing my life,” Abel explained. “I just turned 70. And if I run for office, it’s another four-year commitment.”

“I’ve got about 20 to 30 years of life left ... God willing and the creek don’t rise,” she added. “I want to camp and I want to bike and I want to garden and I want to be with my family and my friends.”

Seligson said Thursday he would seek to retain his seat on the council.

“I enjoy what I’m doing. I think I’m on the road to making a difference,” he said.

“I welcome somebody to run against me,” Seligson added.

“It opens it up for a discussion of differences of opinion and the creation of new ideas. People should have a choice,” he said.

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