I have decided not to run for reelection as mayor. For months, I have been thinking about this and discussing it with my wife Stacey. It has not been an easy decision, but I believe it is the right one.
Serving as Mequon mayor for the past three years has been a great honor. I have enjoyed it. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this community I love. For over two decades, I have contributed to Mequon government. I will miss City Hall and assisting residents, but I will find other ways to make a difference.
However, life can change a great deal in three years. Since being elected, both of my daughters were wed, my first grandchild was born, Stacey and I bought a second home on a lake in northern Wisconsin, and I have decided to curtail my law practice on my way to retirement. Therefore, I want to spend more time with Stacey and my daughters and their families, stay at the lake, work on my Christmas tree farm and golf. Stacey and I intend to travel for a month or more at a time. I want to be more involved with my church. I will get in better condition and work on my health. I also intend to write more and, perhaps, teach.
I have taken pride in the effort I have put forth as mayor. I do not foresee having the time in the next three years to do the job the right way and still accomplish my personal objectives.
Moreover, the past three years have presented an unprecedented sequence of significant and emotionally charged issues – concerns about race and police, including the BLM protests; COVID and related controversies about public facilities, masks and vaccines; the attempted gubernatorial recall; a divisive presidential election; and the MTSD board recall election and all of the controversy that surrounded it.
I addressed each of those issues with restraint and with the best interests of the community as my guide. I was supported by large numbers of community members and, often, with the unanimous support of the Common Council. But not everyone agreed, and sometimes zealous advocates on each side were unhappy.
If I ran, an opponent would likely rehash all these issues. It would not be a winning strategy for my opponent, but Mequon does not need that. We need, instead, to rekindle a sense of community rather than revisiting old controversies. Hopefully, with a different candidate, we can look forward rather than backward.
I have devoted considerable effort to improving fire and emergency medical services; planning for the future of Port Washington Road; updating ordinances; trying to make the city approval processes more consistent and transparent; ensuring that the police department is well equipped and staffed; upgrading aging facilities; and improving communications with residents. Rather than focusing on past controversies, the next mayor should focus on those and other ways to improve city government.
Mequon can keep taxes low, have excellent police, fire and ambulance services, ensure good roads, improve city services and facilities, work to create a sense of community and plan for our future.
I am optimistic about Mequon’s future. Again, thank you for allowing me to serve.