Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1685435

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2017

Mayor Johnson not planning re-election bid

Sep 06, 2017
After 18 years on the Washington City Council, including close to nine as mayor, Sandra Johnson announced Tuesday evening that she does not plan to file papers to seek the position of mayor again.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

After 18 years on the Washington City Council, including close to nine as mayor, Sandra Johnson announced Tuesday evening that she does not plan to file papers to seek the position of mayor again during the November election.

Citing reasons of hoping to achieve “better work-life balance,” Johnson said she won’t seek her third term as mayor. She said she has several projects she hopes to complete that she has had to leave unattended due to her role as mayor. She also said she has four grandchildren she wants to spend more time with.

“It’s been a ride,” she commented.

Johnson was first sworn onto the council as an at-large member on Jan. 1, 2000. She said she had been recruited to seek the position a few days before the November 1999 election, because no one had filed to run for the position.

While serving as the Mayor Pro Tem in 2008, Johnson was sworn in as mayor after seated mayor Rick Cicalo died Sept. 7, 2008, in his home after being diagnosed with cancer only a few weeks earlier. City clerk Illa Earnest had looked into the matter and found that the city had not previously had a woman serve as mayor.

“I felt an obligation to finish a lot of the work Rick and I had started,” Johnson said. “That just felt right.”

Since then, she has won the position twice.

During her time on the council, Johnson said “considerable strides” had been made to improving the city’s infrastructure. She said one of the biggest lessons she had learned is that strategic planning is very labor-intensive and helps prioritize city projects. She said the city staff has taught her how difficult it is to deliver all the services citizens have grown to expect.

In the coming term, she hopes a few more business park lots will be sold, and the grid from Highway 1 to Iowa Avenue will be complete. She also hopes to see public safety addressed with a sidewalk improvement program. She also hopes to see the empty spaces in the downtown filled.

Also during the meeting, council member Kathryn Salazar announced she does not intend to run again for her at-large seat. She encourages people to file to run for the position.

Council member Jaron Rosien announced Friday that he intends to run for mayor, which will leave his Ward 4 seat open.

Petitions to run for office are due to Earnest by 5 p.m. Sept. 22

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