Mayor of Tallahassee John Marks said Tuesday that after 10 years in office, he will not be running for re-election.
Supporters, staff, family and friends watched as Marks descended from the top of the stairs with his wife, Jane, by his side.
Marks approached the podium and behind him stood some of his team of the last 10 years. He gave a speech that lightly touched on all the things he has done in the last decade.
“As I stood there, at that point I never imagined that I would be standing here as the mayor for the city of Tallahassee,” he said.
In the last 10 years with Marks in office, Tallahassee has made advances toward becoming one of the nation’s first “smart cities.”
Marks also began an initiative called Local Business Saturday to increase support for small businesses in Tallahassee. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 continues to circulate in Tallahassee, according to tal.gov.
Marks said he has been able to keep the city standing tall through one of the largest recessions since the Great Depression.
During the economic crisis, he was able to get utility rates lowered. Marks even boasted that the city will have a balanced budget when he leaves.
“I’m tremendously proud of all that we have accomplished, and will accomplish during my time as mayor.” Marks said.
Marks’ term does not officially end until November 2014. However, he said both he and his wife still plan to serve tirelessly until the term expires.
Jane Marks said there is a lot of work left.
“In the next two weeks, I still have two speeches and a Zumba class to do,” Jane Marks joked.
Linda Dilworth, a Tallahassee resident, said it is difficult to see Marks go.
“I think that he has given this community and the city of Tallahassee many great years,” Dilworth said. “It’s bitter sweet to see him go but it’s like the circle of life. You come in to change it and leave it better than you found it for the next person to come in and take over.”
She also referred to the mayor’s run in office as “progressive and successful.”
Both Jane and John Marks expressed their sincere love for the city and the idea that they are ready to enjoy the city from a slightly different view for the next chapter of their lives.