Thank you, Marshfield citizens, for the support and trust you have given to me as mayor over the past six years. It has been a great blessing and high honor to serve, and I will always treasure the time I have served on the Board of Aldermen and as mayor. I am writing today to announce that I will not be seeking a fourth term as mayor; however, if elected, I will serve another two years as East Ward Alderman.
It is my hope that our community will elect Natalie McNish as our next mayor. Natalie has been heavily involved, serving on the Parks & Recreation Team (she and I led the Patriot Park Dedication effort), and the Finance Team. Natalie was the primary auditor that performed the state audit on Marshfield in 2013. She has since moved to Marshfield and dedicated her time and talents to come alongside this administration and city staff to build a financial management structure that is highly transparent and recognized as a benchmark for other communities. I believe Natalie brings a fresh approach to the continued growth and success of Marshfield.
Next to serving my Lord Jesus Christ and my family, serving our community in this office will no doubt be what I remember most fondly when I look back on my life. It has truly been a great adventure that has brought me lifelong friendships and challenged me to grow as a servant leader.
I have prayerfully chosen this time to return to a less demanding level of service for several reasons; here are a few for anyone who has interest ….
First – I have always recognized my gifting and skills lean toward making change and moving efforts forward in that initial push that requires a great deal of focus and planning. Conversely, while I do not discount that I can also add value in the more long-term maintenance and effort to continually strengthen by focusing on current infrastructure and organization, I do realize there are those who are better suited than I am for that task.
Second – I initially stepped into government service to connect with people that do not necessarily believe as I do. I had gotten to a place in life where everyone around me were of the same or similar faith. My wife and children are all Christians, I work for a Christian organization and most of my friends and acquaintances were from Marshfield Assembly of God (which is an awesome church family). I believe one of the reasons the Lord led me to serve in government was to challenge me to live my faith in a more public forum. However, I recognize his leading to return to a life as what my good friend calls “a churchman.” I enjoy serving in the laity of our church. One of the areas of ministry that my wife Audrey and I will be taking on together will be to facilitate group meetings that are dedicated to helping people work through grief. If you are a person who is dealing with grief and would like a support team, please know you are invited to attend our first meeting at Marshfield Assembly of God at 6 p.m. this Monday.
Third – though I mention it last, it is the very important to me. My circumstances have changed greatly since my first term as mayor. I recognize that I came into service after 27 years of marriage and having raised three children to become adults. We lost my wife Virginia to cancer three years ago, and the journey since has had many twists and turns, and a great deal of struggle. However, just over a year and a half ago God brought a special person (Audrey) into my life and she and I began a new chapter. I don’t know that it is important for anyone to understand as much as it is important for me to say that Audrey has made significant sacrifice to come to Missouri from Indiana and be part of our family. She is an exceptional person and has done a wonderful job fitting into my life. She has never asked, but I have come to realize the need to make similar sacrifices to free up time and room to allow us to grow into the life God desires for us as a couple.
In closing, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community as mayor. I am exceptionally blessed to have the opportunity to serve with the finest group of paid staff and volunteers that any city has ever seen, no exaggeration. I know first-hand about the high morals and character of the Marshfield community as a whole. My wife Virginia and I recognized the incredible character and people of Marshfield when we first moved here in 1991, and my wife Audrey and I continue to recognize it today.