Thursday, March 23, 2006

Our Mayor has quit his job!

Citing "competition with family love", Gary Mayor Scott King submitted his resignation Wednesday, during an hour-long press conference aired on the Comcast Government Access Channel.

King's resignation ends a 10-year reign.

King, the city's first white mayor in 28 years, said his resignation will become effective noon Friday.

"I have to do family first," he said.

He said he wanted to quit earlier, after struggling with the decision to enter his third term, when the property tax issue arose, he said.

King, the father of two daughters and a son, said the rigors of balancing family and work were too much, so he felt it best to resign. During reporters questions, he talked about how low mayoral salaries are.

"Right now I'm making more than the governor so it would be hard to get an increase there," he said.
He inferred his "three stair step kids... who don't want to go to local college" put a strain on his household budget. He makes $107,000 a year--$87,000 from city and the balance from the Gary Sanitary District where he serves as special administrator mandated in a federal consent decree. King must serve in that position until another special administrator is named, he said.

However, King just sounded as he was tired of public scrutiny. He jokingly asked reporters to lose his home number and couldn't wait to say, "that's my personal business," in response to a reporter's question.

"The job is never done. It is a living organism. (However) the most rewarding experience is the sincerity the people of this community has accepted and respected and followed me as their mayor. Little kids know my name." King said.

He also answered questions on the airport and extending the runway and the changing face of Northwest Indiana, away from heavy industry.
"Development of the lakefront will get done," he said

He emphasized that a push from the private business sector is in line to cue up the city's economy.
However political pundits take a different view of the issues surrounding King's resignation.

King jokingly mentioned in a response to a reporter's question, that if the state raises the pay of Governor of Indiana, "who knows" he might take a "run at it."

His wife, Irene King, said before the broadcast was abruptly ended while she was still answering questions, told a reporter that, "everything must change."

Newly appointed deputy mayor, Dozier T. Allen will assume the duties of mayor. King's term ends December 2007. Allen's official title is acting mayor, King said.

The position of deputy mayor won't be filled until the Democratic Caucus.

Allen, the former long-standing Calumet Township Trustee, told the audience that he has an understanding of how government works. He also said he has the wisdom of a 75-year-old man and the stamina of a 50-year-old man. He asked the city to pray for him.

"More important is a humble spirit and a kind heart," Allen said.
Economic development and employment will be his major issue projects, Allen said.

"One large employer could solve that problem overnight. I'm interested in looking at every model that could serve this city,"Allen said. He also said he is impressed with the General Assembly's work, thus far.

"I have no fear of the Republican or Democratic party," he said, adding a person's personal philosophy is what it is.

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