On a day of celebration for the incoming council members, one councilman announced his departure. Councilman Howard D. Richards announced his resignation following the 2014 Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Inauguration ceremony Monday, Dec. 15.
Richards said health issues were the reason for his resignation.
He said he has been suffering from two torn rotator cuffs and will require surgery and a lengthy road to recovery.
“It was a decision I had to make,” he said. “Within the last three to four months I’ve been debating it.”
Richards has been on and off of council since 1991 and served as chairman from 2002 to 2004. He said it was a difficult decision to resign, but he is proud of his accomplishments.
“As I walk out that door I will leave knowing I gave it my best shot,” he said.
Richards, elected in 2012, leaves with a little less than a year remaining in his three-year term. A special election will be held to fill Richards’ vacant seat on Thursday, Feb. 12.