Densmore leaving City Council

There's no specific reason for departure, the councilor says

Medford Councilor Al Densmore, who previously served as the city's mayor and as a state legislator, announced Wednesday he would step down from the City Council on Aug. 2.

"It's something I've been thinking about for some time," Densmore said.

His last council meeting will be on Aug. 1, which he said will be followed by a family vacation the next day.

Densmore sent Mayor Gary Wheeler a letter on Wednesday announcing his retirement.

The 66-year-old Medford resident of 45 years said there is no specific reason for his departure other than wanting to simplify his life, spend more time with his family, and get out and enjoy life.

Densmore, who previously has had heart problems, said his health remains good, though he acknowledged that working as both a city councilor and on the Medford Urban Renewal Agency board has been stressful at times. "The workload has increased dramatically," he said.

Densmore said he has nothing but the greatest admiration for his fellow councilors, who have waded through some particularly difficult tasks the past two years as MURA winds down. "I think the council has done a great job in following in the original footsteps of the original MURA board," he said.

"The council has acted prudently and wisely in making some significant investments in the community. I see a lot of positive momentum."

Densmore, who still is involved in his financial firm, was elected to the council in 2006 and reelected in 2010.

He served three terms in the Legislature, from 1971-1977.

In 1976, he was elected mayor of Medford, serving until 1983.

During his present tenure on the council, Densmore said, he is particularly proud of the transportation projects that he has helped shepherd, including the Springbrook Road realignment, Highway 62 improvements, and a $7.5 million upgrade on Lozier Lane. He also said the pedestrian bridge carrying the Bear Creek Greenway over Barnett Road has proved to be an asset for the city.

Densmore said that while he's proud of projects he's worked on, it's important to note they were done collaboratively with the council and other boards and commissions in the area.

"Again, it's not about me," he said. "We do these things together."

Councilor Daniel Bunn has been attending various transportation boards recently, and Densmore said he hoped the council would name Bunn as his replacement on those boards.

Densmore's vacancy on the council will have to be filled after he leaves office. The council likely will set up a committee to consider applicants for the position.

Councilor Dick Gordon, who is the chairman of the MURA board, said Densmore has had a wonderful public career and provided a lot of expertise and direction over difficult issues.

"He's an absolutely super person," Gordon said. "I'm going to miss him a lot."

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email

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