One of the two candidates for the mayor of a Petersburg borough says he’s no longer interested in running for that seat.
74-year-old Don Koenigs said he changed his mind about running for mayor after a recent trip abroad with his wife. “Gloria and I had the opportunity to be called away to a spiritual retreat in Jamaica and after the four day retreat we were called to minister to the poorest of the poor in the ghettos of Jamaica and upon reflecting on the call and the service that we were called to do we returned home with renewed spirit actually about serving other people and I felt called to serve the missions of the poor and so I made a decision while I was in Jamaica to withdraw my name from the mayoral position for the borough assembly,” Koenigs said Monday.
Koenigs is a city council member, former mayor and former city manager. Another city council member Mark Jensen also filed to run for the borough mayor. Both Koenigs and Jensen will still appear on the borough ballot mailed out by the state division of elections starting later this month, since Koenigs missed the October 31st deadline for candidates to withdraw from the ballot.
“My name will be on the ballot but don’t vote for me just vote for Mark and there will be no opposition so Mark will automatically be the mayor if the borough passes,” Koenigs said. Koenigs told Jensen about his decision upon returning to town. He plans to serve on the city council through the borough election in December but then plans on stepping down from the city council if the borough does not pass. “There’s so much need in the third world out there and I’ve been touched by that and I need to respond to that call.”
With city mayor Al Dwyer planning to step down this month, there will be two vacancies on either the city council or the borough assembly depending on next month’s vote. Area voters will decide whether to form a new Petersburg borough and elect a mayor, assembly, school board and hospital board members on that ballot. The mayor’s post was the only contested seat on that ballot before Koenigs decision not to run.