Here’s the way most municipal elections go down:
1. An official announces he won’t seek re-election.
2. The deadline passes for potential replacements to put their names on the ballot.
3. Groups of civically engaged residents endorse their preferred candidates.
But this is the Park Cities, where things work a bit differently:
Yesterday: University Park Community League chairman Eddy Moore issued a news release that says the league is endorsing Olin Lane’s bid for mayor.
This morning: I spoke to Mayor Dick Davis, who told me he’s not seeking a third term.
Feb. 28: The deadline will pass for submitting a candidacy for the May 10 election.
So there’s still two weeks for other University Park residents to raise their hands for the open mayoral seat. But, because the Community League is backing Lane, any other candidate’s chances would be slim.
The league is also backing incumbent City Council members Bob Begert, Dawn Moore, and Tommy Stewart, as well as newcomer Taylor Armstrong. He would replace Bob Clark, who’s finishing his up third term, so he can’t run again.
Davis served three terms as a councilman before being elected mayor in 2010. After 10 years on the council, he said, it’s time to move on.
“I’ve had a delightful time, and it’s been a worthwhile time,” Davis said, “but now it’s time to play a little more with the grandkids.”
Davis’ tenure included some contentious issues, including the lifting of restrictions on alcohol sales, the expansion of the Park Cities YMCA, and the continued ban on live chickens. But the mayor’s outlook is upbeat.
“I have nothing but the best feelings for the council members and staff I’ve worked with,” Davis said. “I think the city is in a great position.”
City spokesman Steve Mace said Armstrong serves on the Board of Adjustment. Prior to that, he was on the Urban Design and Development Advisory Committee for a number of years.
Lane is chair of the city’s Capital Projects Review Committee, and he also serves on the Highland Park Education Foundation advisory board. He was elected to the City Council in 1996, 1998, and 2000.
“University Park is very fortunate indeed that these impeccably qualified residents seek to serve as mayor and as members of the City Council,” Moore said in the Community League’s release. “The election of such highly qualified candidates with substantial records of city government and civic involvement will perpetuate the remarkable level of service that citizens of University Park have come to value and appreciate. We have no doubt that each of them will do a great job for our city upon their election.”