Last Term for Wildes
By Laura D'Onofrio
Michael Wildes announced today that he would not seek a third term as mayor citing greater political ambitions and spending more time with his family as some reasons for his decision.
The mayor's comments came at City Hall where he held a press conference Feb. 6.
"While I am committed to continue to give 100 percent to my job as mayor for the remainder of my current term, I am not prepared to serve another three years as mayor with the same level of commitment," Wildes said.
Mayor Wildes highlighted his priorities and prospects. "I want to spend more time with my kids before they head off to college next year. Also, next week, I am assuming the position of managing partner at my law firm…Finally when it comes to politics I am looking toward the future, something I have been preparing to do for some time now," Wildes said.
He explained that the political climate of Englewood does not offer the same opportunity to bring people together. "To run for office in Englewood, one has to be willing to be called a racist or have it be suggested that they are operating just this side of the law, with no basis in fact. I strongly urge Englewood to move beyond its recent history of a toxic political climate," said Wildes.
Wildes was not as open on his future political aspirations. "I have no aspirations at this point. When it comes to politics you have to have wheels on your heels when you're ready to move," Wildes said. "I haven't been shy about my interest in Congress, but believe me, you will know when it's time."
Wildes currently has $58,000 in campaign funds for State Senate and $600,000 in congressional campaign funds.
Does the mayor know of any potential candidates? "I have been approached by individuals who will announce their intentions, but I cannot announce them at this time, but there will probably be some announcements in the next week or two," said the mayor.
Wildes shared that he wants the next mayor to be a unifier, a socially energetic person, someone with the capacity to understand rich, poor, differing demographics and political factions; a person who is capable of working with the City Council to do right despite the political consequences.
Wildes explained that the job would be better suited as a full-time position. "I think the mayor and City Council should be full-time jobs," he said.
He reminisced about his experiences throughout the press conference. He remembered the late nights being woken to help put out a fire in the community and the 1,000 weddings he has conducted in his office.
Wildes remembered a particularly poignant wedding in Englewood. "A 60-year-old man called me, he was in his last phase of cancer on his deathbed, but he wanted to get married. He fell in love with his caretaker, a Filipino woman whom he wanted to leave his wealth to. He had no other family. He told me he called four other mayors, none of whom got back to him," said Wildes.
"To this day, the young woman who has since left the Englewood area, still sends me a Christmas card," Wildes said.
"It is a hard chapter to close, but the experience has become part of my DNA."
Reproduced from The Suburbanite
Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes For Mayor, Assemblyman Arnold Brown, Treasurer
250 Allison Court, Englewood, NJ 07631