May will not seek re-election
Hopes new faces will inspire change
Four years ago, Farmington City Council Member Julie May was elected on her slogan “I’m so sick of it,” referring to city issues.
After one term in office, May is stating the phrase again to explain why she will not seek re-election in November.
“There are all those fluffy answers, like spending more time with family, and they are all true,” May said. “But really, it came down to … I’m so sick of it. That’s why I ran, and that’s
also why I’m not running again.”
May, an outspoken watchdog on fiscal issues, said she is frustrated that the council has not been able to work together to more effectively address budget issues.
“I really thought we would make more of a difference,” she said. “But I just don’t see that we’ve worked constructively with staff to make a difference.”
She said new City Council members could better make the changes needed to address the city’s fiscal issues.
May, a banker, has suggested making cuts to address the city’s budget deficit and supported organizational restructuring, but progress has been slow and she said new faces may inspire more change.
Twice annually, the city’s general fund dips into the red.
May has repeatedly advocated for out-of-the-box solutions to address the fiscal problems, including restructuring city services, operations and staff and said she would like to see more changes made to improve the city budget.
During a recent workshop, May successfully gained majority support for moving the city’s struggling downtown liquor store to a smaller, cheaper and more visible location off of Highway 3 in hopes of generating more revenue.
But when the issue came up for a vote, Council Member Christy Jo Fogarty changed her mind and became the swing vote to keep the liquor store at its spacious City Center location near the grocery store.
May’s suggestion at a July budget workshop that the city consider allowing teens to use the Rambling River Center in an effort to get more use out of the building, as originally proposed, did not gain much council support and drew ire from senior citizens.
She said she believes fresh perspectives could bring a new dynamic to the City Council to address the issues that the current council makeup has not been able to achieve.
“Had I been part of a more cohesive group to work constructively with staff, I probably would run again,” May said. “But at this point, I want to encourage others to run. That’s why I’m stepping aside. If we get a new face in there, it will keep things a little more fresh.”
May’s seat is one of three up for election this year.
Farmington Mayor Todd Larson has filed for re-election, and Council Member Terry Donnelly has not filed or announced if he will seek another term.
“I just don’t think the three of us getting re-elected is going to do the city any good,” May said. “The dynamic of the group we have right now just isn’t working. It really doesn’t have the dynamic to make any change.”
Farmington Planning Commission Member Doug Bonar has also announced he will seek office, but as of Tuesday had not filed for candidacy.