Mac won't run for council
Grand Forks City Council Mike McNamara said Tuesday that he's not running for re-election in June for his seat in Ward 2. There'd been some speculation earlier that he wouldn't run, but he's now made it official so others in his ward with a yen t...
Grand Forks City Council Mike McNamara said Tuesday that he's not running for re-election in June for his seat in Ward 2.
There'd been some speculation earlier that he wouldn't run, but he's now made it official so others in his ward with a yen to be in city government can get their campaign together.
When he first ran in 2006, McNamara was one of five candidates from Ward 2, which includes parts of the university neighborhood and areas to the east. McNamara was notable for his name recognition as a talk show host on KNOX 1310 and as the only candidate, probably in the entire country, running while deployed as a Marine major in Iraq.
He won a four-year term on the council with 341 of 695 votes.
He later ran for mayor, but lost out to Mayor Mike Brown.
The time commitment was just too much for him, McNamara told the Herald on Tuesday explaining why he wouldn't run again. Being on the council means attending a lot of meetings, he told the Herald, and, on average, he's at those meetings three days a week.
That's a lot for a guy who's got a regular day job -- he's a talk show host on KNOX 1310 and Leighton Broadcasting's operations manager in Grand Forks -- a gig as high school baseball coach and father to four.
As a council member, McNamara is a member of the finance committee, the Library Board and the Board of Public Health.
Some other council members have more control over their schedules -- some are retired, and some are their own bosses -- he said, but he doesn't so much. His feeling, he said, is until the pace of the meetings change, it'll be hard for Joe Six-Packs like him to serve.
Council member Terry Bjerke, who's a mailman by day, chimed in that the council essentially takes the place of any hobbies.
McNamara said he wished the council would discuss all business in the smaller committees, such as finance, and do away with the Committee of the Whole, which includes the entire council.
Typically, city business goes from the smaller committees to the Committee of the Whole for discussion and then to the council for a vote.
He said he's stepping down but isn't ruling out a future run.
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