In the first City of Ithaca Common Council meeting of 2023, Mayor Laura Lewis announced that she would not be running for re-election when her term expires at the end of the year.
During her State of the City address Mayor Lewis said, “I am announcing tonight that I will not be seeking re election to the position of mayor in 2024”
Before winning the Mayoral election in November 2022, Mayor Lewis was appointed to the position of Acting Mayor when former Mayor Svante Myrick stepped down from the position in January 2022 to take a full-time job as the Executive Director of People for the American Way.
After announcing that she would not be seeking re-election Mayor Lewis continued saying, “For the past five years, it has been my privilege and continues to be my greatest honor to serve the city I love as a council member, and now as Mayor. I look forward to the many challenges and opportunities we will face together throughout 2023.”
Mayor Lewis said that city priorities include “recruiting and hiring additional police officers and firefighters to plan for vacancies created by retirements”, in addition to finding a permanent Chief at the Police and Fire Departments. Another goal includes conducting a search and hiring someone to become the first City Manager.
According to Mayor Lewis, the passage of the public referendum to create the position of City Manager “ensures that we will expend considerable effort on transitioning to a new form of city government with a Council-Mayor structure.”
When Mayor Lewis’ term expires at the end of 2023, the individual who is selected as the newly created position of City Manager will take over the administrative responsibilities previously carried out by the Mayor.
The Mayor will see reduced responsibilities but retain a position on the Common Council.