Perhaps you've heard by now. It's official: Mayor Tom Leppert has decided not to run for a second term. On his website, he explains:
Since 2007, I've had one of the best jobs in the world: Mayor of Dallas. In that time, I have worked with committed Council colleagues, talented city staff, an active business community and committed residents in every corner of the city to make Dallas a better place to work and raise families.
But as my term enters its final months, I have concluded that it is time to explore other ways I can serve the people of Dallas and Texas. Consequently, I will not seek re-election. This has not been an easy decision. I love serving the people of this city. After almost four years in the job, Dallas is in good shape -- despite a struggling national economy - and is well positioned to compete on a national and global stage.
We have tackled the tough issues with a view to the future and, as I think back on the goals we set four years ago, we have not only achieved those goals but exceeded them.
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Chris Heinbaugh, the mayor's chief of staff, sent out a similarly worded press release, which follows. In both (not to mention his chitchat with Rudy), Leppert explains: There's just no need to run again, since he's fixed everything. Crime's down, the economy's lookin' up, the school's are this close to fixed, he's banished corruption to the hinterlands, and the citizenry of Dallas trusts government again: "Government is more civil and transparent at Dallas City Hall." So now what?
In short, there has been tremendous progress in a brief time. It's time to look at the next steps.
Over the next few weeks, with much thought and prayer, I will explore how I can best serve the people of Dallas, North Texas, and indeed the entire state of Texas. It is an exciting time to live here and I'm blessed to be serving the citizens of Dallas. When those next steps are clear, you'll be the first to know.
We may have more with the mayor later today, before he heads to Austin for Rick Perry's inauguration. Till then, jump for The Official Word from City Hall. Too bad he's gonna miss The Decade of Dallas.
MAYOR TOM LEPPERT DECISION ON A SECOND TERM
Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert today announced he will not run for a second term as mayor.
"I love serving the people of this city, and we have more than met the goals I laid out four years ago" said Mayor Leppert. "With this - and as my term enters its final months - I have concluded that it is the right time to explore other ways to serve the people of Dallas, North Texas and Texas."
Mayor Leppert shared the news early today in an email letter to thousands of supporters.
"After almost four years in the job, Dallas is in a much stronger position - despite a struggling national economy," said Leppert. "Dallas is now well placed to compete on a national and global stage"
Among the major accomplishments:
REDUCING CRIME TO MAKE A SAFER CITY:
• Dallas added almost 600 officers, an increase of 20%
• Crime has been reduced 25% in just the past three years
• Dallas has come off the top of the FBI's crime statistics list
• New policies that support the DPD's crime fighting efforts have adopted
BUILDING A STRONG ECONOMY TODAY AND TOMORROW THROUGH AGGRESSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
• Downtown Dallas is vibrant, growing and now home to thousands
• Created a strong, business friendly environment that has attracted the relocation and retention of major firms, especially in and around Downtown Dallas
• Produced new manufacturing and warehouse operations in Southern Dallas, creating hundreds of jobs
• Laid the groundwork for more job growth and economic development, especially in Southern Dallas
• Trade missions to Asia, Europe, Canada and Mexico are already attracting jobs and international investment
SHINING A LIGHT ON EDUCATION TO ENSURE FUTURE SUCCESS:
• Demonstrated local government must play a critical role in improving education
• Launched a city-wide, early literacy program touching nearly 60,000 kids
• Raised more than half a million dollars for scholarships, donating his mayoral salary to scholarships
• Placed hundreds of at-risk students as interns in organizations throughout our city, making the connection between a good education and a good career
• Enhanced the "front door" of campuses • Launched the Mayor's Youth Fitness Initiative to help keep our kids healthy and fit
• Continued and enhanced the Mayor's Back to School Fair
CREATING MORE TRUST IN GOVERNMENT:
• A more civil and transparent government at City Hall
• Meetings start on time and are respectful and professional
• Passed ethics, lobbying and campaign finance reforms making City Hall more transparent
• Won fair and open bidding on contracts, such as the concession contracts at the new Love Field Terminal
Additionally, Mayor Leppert fought to keep taxes low and to make the City more efficient and fiscally responsible. He also spent significant amounts of this first term fighting referendums that would have blocked progress in Dallas. He fought to affirm the voter-approved Trinity River project. He also made the tough choice to build a convention center hotel to support the city's important convention and hospitality industry and protect the taxpayers' billion dollar investment in the Dallas Convention Center.
"It's an exciting time to be here," said Leppert. "Over the next few weeks, with much thought and prayer, I will lay out how I can best serve the people of Dallas, North Texas, and indeed the entire state of Texas."