In a surprise move, Hayward Councilmember Al Mendall  announced he will not seek re-election to his seat on the City Council in November. Mendall, who was first elected to the city council in 2012, notified the public of his decision at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Hayward beat“I love this job. I’ve been doing it for seven years and it’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding,” Mendall said, before adding, “I will not be running for re-election this fall. I will be retiring from council after my current term.”

Mendall said his decision to leave the council after two terms was due to family concerns and a grueling daily commute. “Traveling across the bay and trying to juggle two jobs and two kids — it’s just become a little too much for me to do well,” Mendall said.

“I don’t come to this decision lightly. I’ve given it a lot of thought,” he added. “Ten more months for me and I plan to make it the best 10 months I can. I’ll come and work my tail off until the very end.”

During his tenure, Mendall’s activism focused on the environment. “This is the greenest city on the planet,” he said Tuesday night. “Don’t take my word for it. Others are saying so.”

Mendall’s departure leaves three remaining incumbent councilmembers to seek four at-large seats in the fall. They include Councilmembers Francisco Zermeno, Elisa Marquez, and Mark Salinas.

-This article was updated later to include quotes from Mendall’s announcement on Tuesday night.