Clennon announces run for mayor

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Council Member Marian Clennon said she does not intend to run for her City Council seat again, and will instead enter the race for mayor of Austin. She last ran for mayor in a 2010 election, where she lost to mayor Tom Stiehm.

The two will likely be opponents once more. Stiehm said he was officially undecided as of Monday night, but was leaning heavily toward running again.

“I guess you could say I’m 95 percent sure,” he said.

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The term length for mayor will increase from two to four years at the beginning of the coming term.

Clennon’s council seat is one of four up for election this year, with two incumbents set to run again.

Janet Anderson said she intends to run again for her seat as council member-at-large, which is presently a two-year term but will double to a four-year term starting in 2014.

Incumbent council member Steve King said he plans on running for his Ward 2 seat again, while Brian McAlister does not intend to keep his seat.

McAlister said he had participated on the council for many years and was ready to step aside. He was enthusiastic about someone taking his place.

“I would encourage people who are truly interested to take a look,” he said.

Council members Jeff Austin, Roger Boughton and Judy Enright are not up for re-election this year, as each of the three has two years left in the current term.

2 school board members won’t run, 1 undecided

There could be three new Austin Public Schools board members next year.

Board seats for Aaron Keenan, Jeff Kritzer and Dick Lees are up for grabs in November. Of the three, only Lees has indicated he may run again.

“I really don’t know,” Lees said last week.

A board member for almost 16 years, Lees still thinks he can contribute, but he said his age and the commitment of being on the board are factors in his decision.

Keenan said he is not running for re-election, as his job at Mayo Clinic in Rochester has conflicted with his duties.

“I think my new work responsibilities and having to work not in Austin anymore has made it complicated,” he said.

The first-term board member said he enjoyed his experience on the board and wants more district parents to find time to serve.

“I highly encourage parents with kids in the school district to run for school board,” he said. “It’s one of the best things I’ve done.”

Kritzer, the board chairman, told audience members at last week’s Candidate 101 meeting that he would not be seeking re-election. He could not be reached for comment Monday or Tuesday.

2 county board members to run again

After 16 years on the county board, Ray Tucker plans to seek his fifth term in the 2nd District.

Likewise, Tim Gabrielson said he plans to seek his second term in District 1, in the only other county elected office up for election this year.

Both candidates said they don’t see there being one big issue this election. Last election, the recently completed Jail and Justice Center and the potential remodel of the Government center were the key issue, along with costs.

This time around, Gabrielson said things like the government shutdown and mandates could be discussed.

Gabrielson said the county has recently curbed costs by merging departments, like it did in Public Works and by merging Health and Human Services.

Austin Utilities Board has 3 seats up

The Austin Utilities Board will have three of its five seats up for re-election. Each seat is a four-year term. Board member-at-large Tom Baudler said he plans to run for his seat again, while Paul Johnson has indicated he does not. Jim Schroeder, who occupies the third of the three seats available, was not available for comment.