Published DateLACONIA — Citing the challenge of juggling the demands of his job and his duties as mayor, Mike Seymour announced yesterday that he will not seek re-election to a third term.
As senior vice-president of marketing and retail services at Franklin Savings Bank, Seymour said that "I have found that to do both jobs to the best of my abilities has become a greater and greater challenge." The mayor, he believes, apart from official duties, which include chairing the Laconia Airport Authority and serving on the Human Relations Committee as well as presiding over the City Council, should also be a constant presence in the community. "I feel a responsibility to be available and accessible for everything that involves the city," he remarked, "and that has become more and more difficult for me."
Recalling the recent report of the independent auditors, which found the city in a strong financial position, Seymour said that "knowing that the city is in a good position makes it easier to step down." He noted that except for Councilor Matt Lahey (Ward 2) five of the six incumbent councilors, four of whom have served together for four terms, have indicated they will re-election. Assuming they are successful, he said that they would provide "continuity and stability."
"I've absolutely loved my time as mayor," Seymour said. He mentioned the search and selection of a city manager to succeed Eileen Cabanel among the highlights of his tenure, adding that the council "hit it out of the park" by appointing Scott Myers. As a candidate Seymour proposed developing a strategic plan for the city, a process that began in earnest with the appointment of Myers. "We have a plan that is set annually and reviewed quarterly with specific objectives that allows us to measure our progress," he said.
Seymour said he was encouraged that the city has taken the first steps towards regional cooperation with neighboring towns as well as by the relationships he developed with the local business community and the unions representing the municipal employees.
Repeating that the city finds itself in a good place and in good hands, Seymour said that his decision creates an opportunity "for someone to step up and bring fresh and new ideas to the table."
City Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5), who was rumored to be eying the mayor's office, admitted yesterday "I'm interested" only to quickly add "but I'm not going to do it." He said that he enjoyed serving on the Finance and Lands and Building committees and, acknowledging that the mayor who only votes to break ties, remarked "I want to keep my vote."
The filing period for the mayor and city council election opens on Wednesday, June 5 and closes on Friday, June 14.