City Councilwoman Lisa Czelatdko made it official Wednesday: She will not seek re-election to the District 3 seat she won as a political newcomer two years ago in a race against a seasoned politician.
Reports surfaced last month that she would not go after another term, but she wouldn’t confirm them, saying only that she would make an announcement by Feb. 6, the last day to turn in nominating petitions. Just hours before the 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday, she released a statement confirming the reports.
The statement talks about how she approached the job and says the past two years were “challenging and fulfilling,” but it does not indicate why she decided not to run again. She could not be reached for comment.
Czelatdko joined the council in 2011 as a political novice but an experienced community activist. She had started to run for the seat in 2009, but withdrew because she wanted to build relationships and learn more about the issues — a goal she pursued by serving on numerous boards, commissions and nonprofits. In the 2011 race, she defeated Michael Merrifield, who had served eight years in the state House of Representatives.
Some people focused on her good looks and dismissively referred to her as “Broadmoor Barbie.” But Czelatdko soon established herself as someone willing to ask hard questions about thorny issues and not afraid to challenge the status quo, fellow council members or Mayor Steve Bach.
“It is a shame you are not running for re-election. The only politician in recent memory that tells it like it is,” one supporter wrote about her recently on Facebook.
In her statement, Czelatdko said she has worked on council to be a “catalyst for collaboration,” but has had to stand firm on some issues.
“Call it a mother’s instinct, but sometimes in the past two years I had to be tough but not inflexible,” said Czelatdko, who has four daughters. “Always the concerns of taxpayers, utility rate payers, private property owners and the next generations drove my decisions.”
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES LINEUP
* Council incumbent but not necessarily for the same seat
Dennis R. Moore
Susan Quilleash (petition submitted but not verified as of 5 p.m. Wednesday)
David H. Moore
Andres G. Pico