– City Council Member Barb Russ announced her resignation Thursday, citing health issues.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make, but it was one that will allow me the opportunity to focus on my health,” Russ said in a statement. “I recognize that these are difficult times … but I am confident that with the leadership at the city, county and state that we are in good hands.”

A city spokesperson said Russ’ health issues were not caused by the coronavirus.

Russ was first elected to an at-large seat on the council in 2013, and she won a second term in 2017. She worked as an assistant St. Louis County attorney before she retired.

Russ’ spot on the council is slated to go up for election again in 2021. Since she had less than two years left in her term, the council can appoint someone to fill her seat.

That process last happened when Council Member Elissa Hansen stepped down in 2018 and Arik Forsman was appointed to take her place. More than 20 people interviewed for the job at the time.

“During my tenure, I have fought hard to help the homeless and underprivileged members of our community,” Russ said. “I have worked to strengthen city services and to make our community a better place to live.”

“While I may not be serving the community in a formal role, I remain dedicated to this community, and will continue to find ways to serve in the future,” she added.

 

Staff writer Brooks Johnson contributed to this report.