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High-profile downtown councillor John Adams announced yesterday that he is pulling out of municipal politics.

While Mr. Adams is the latest casualty of the squeeze that the province put on city council when it slashed the number of councillors from 57 to 44, Mr. Adams said with only a slight hint of irony that he thanked Premier Mike Harris for forcing him to rethink his career after nine years in municipal politics and look for a private-sector job.

He has been chairman of the council's telecommunications committee, and "I'm totally engaged in this telecommunications field," he said.

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Mr. Adams was one of the councillors hardest hit by the redrawing of ward boundaries. The midtown ward that he and councillor Ila Bossons represented was split four ways, leaving neither of them with a big enough piece of political turf to give them a toehold in a new ward. Neither is running again.

Although the election will not be held until November, a string of retirement announcements has already reshaped the face of city politics and the next council.

Veteran North York councillor Joan King announced earlier this week that she is not going to run again, and it is widely expected that she will get an appointment from the provincial government after she leaves office this fall.

With Ms. King's departure, former North York councillor Paul Southerland is expected to make a return to politics in the ward that he once represented.

Mr. Southerland was a close ally of Mel Lastman when Mr. Lastman was mayor of the former city of North York. He served as Mr. Lastman's deputy mayor and as that city's budget chief. If he wins a seat on Toronto Council, he would be an early favourite to replace Tom Jakobek, the most prominent of the announced retirees, as budget chief.

Two other councillors who have announced they are not running again are Scarborough's Doug Mahood and Etobicoke's Dick O'Brien.

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