BUFFALO, N.Y. — Get ready for a change on the Buffalo Common Council next year as the council president, Darius Pridgen, has officially confirmed that he will not seek re-election.
When asked why, he simply said to 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing, "because I enjoy what I do, and I count public service as a privilege, and not as if it is something that I have earned, or that I should own or that I should keep. I want to leave to do my next, of whatever my next is, while I still have a smile, and I'm still engaged, and I'm still relevant."
Pridgen was asked if he will consider running for public office in the future, including mayor of Buffalo, he said "I don't know what my next is and I think that is where it is very liberating because I don't need to know what my next is. I've never closed any door of what I will do next, I can tell you this right now, my next is just preparing to leave the council."
Pridgen was first sworn in January 2011. He is the second longest serving Ellicott District councilman in the city's history.
It's a decision he has been considering over the last year. "I am not leaving public office for anything negative," he said.
He informed Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown of his decision a couple of nights ago. He said the mayor was surprised. "It wasn't as if he was thrilled about it after me giving him my reasons, he understood."
Pridgen highlighted some of his accomplishments while serving the Ellicott district including parking in the Fruit Belt for residents as the area was being gentrified, Cariol's Law, affordable housing projects and getting more diverse builders within the community.
Before his current term ends he wants to deal with property owners raising rent so high that the average Buffalonian can't afford to stay in the city.
"I will never be satisfied with what I've done, I always feel like I wish I could have done more."
He admits he is not tired.
Expect a number of people to line up to run for the Ellicott district council seat.
When asked how he would headline this story, Pridgen said, "Adios!"
Pridgen also served on the Buffalo School Board.
He will continue to serve as Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo. He acknowledged that he prayed over his decision.