Aldermen Mark Doornink, Phil Rath and Bill Zienert have filed non-candidacy papers and won’t seek re-election to the Clintonville City Council in the April 7 election.
Zienert is finishing his second term on the council. He said he wants to pursue other ways to help the community.
“My overwhelming reason [for not seeking re-election] is I feel like I can do more for my community focusing my time on non-governmental pursuits like Boy Scouts, my church, and things of that nature,” Zienert said. “I love our community. I’m committed to it, and if I’m going to take time away from my family and my business I want to do it with something I can make the most difference with the time that I have.”
He added, “Wanting to be part of a group that is dedicated to wanting to build Clintonville up is really important to me. From my perspective, there are other groups in our community that are doing a more consistent job of that than city government.”
Rath said he has served on the city council on and off since 2006.
“I’ve been on the council for several years and it’s time for me to step down,” Rath said.
He added that the political unrest in the city “somewhat” weighed in on his decision.
Serving on the council has also been a pleasure, Rath said.
Doornink said he has served on the council for a total of nine years.
He said it wasn’t an easy decision to not seek re-election, but it was the best decision for him and his family.
He added that the political unrest in the city “heavily” weighed in on his decision. He said that there have been a lot of council meetings and committee meetings that have taken his time away from his family.
Both Doornink and Zienert said they are concerned about the future of the city council and the city.
“That’s the hard part of not running,” Doornink said.
He added that the city and council has lost a lot of experienced people over the past six months.
Zienert was quick to point out that the city is lucky to have the dedicated employees that keep the city operating. He added that the city has lost out on opportunities in recent months.
“My biggest disappoint or concern is I feel we are going to miss opportunities that come our way as a city because we’ve chosen to focus on somewhat pretty myopic, and in some cases, very personal contentious debates,” Zienert said. “Every time we spend an hour discussing the mayor’s leave of absence or any of these other issues, that’s an hour we’re not talking about how to build up the industrial park, how to strengthen our park system, and how to create a place where people want to live and work in.”