By ROBERT BOSWORTH
Eight-term incumbent Councillor at-Large Joseph Finn will not seek re-election this fall citing personal and professional reasons.
Finn, the dean of the council who was first elected in 2001, made the announcement at the May 1st council meeting.
Finn, who served as Council president in 2014 and 2015 and topped the at-large field in winning an eighth term two years ago, told his colleagues at the meeting:
“I am announcing this evening that I will not seek nomination or reelection as Quincy councillor at-large in the November 2017 election. I am not seeking reelection for personal and professional reasons.
“I believe in the old adage ‘never say never’ and I do not exclude the possibility of running for public office at some future point, but I am now excluding myself from reelection neither for that reason nor to assume any other office.
“It will be 16 years that I have served as Quincy city councillor at-large. I can think of no greater privilege or honor than it has been to serve in this position. My life has been influenced by the wonderful, generous, committed men and women whom I have had the honor to serve with. My respect for all those who hold public office has grown immensely over this time.
“I had the honor to serve with two mayors for whom, despite their doubts at times, I had tremendous respect for their courage and sacrifice. I thank them both for what they have taught me about courage and commitment.
“My colleagues over the years on the City Council have made the deepest impression upon me: To have the courage, the spirit of sacrifice and the willingness week after week to be a decision maker committed to the people of this wonderful city takes far more than most will ever know. As I have said in the past, it is a great challenge to surrender the luxury of opinion for the reality of deciding. Thank all of you for your service and commitment.
“I would like to thank the Auditor, the Clerk, and the Clerk of Committees and all of the staff that make our jobs much easier and say what an honor it has been to work with you. I hope I can learn to operate the Tablet before December ends!
“Finally, I want most of all, to thank all of those people who serve the City of Quincy that I have had the honor to work with. You get up every day, go to work without notoriety or status and keep the City moving. From department heads, to public safety, to our incredible school personnel, to the DPW and Park laborers, to the clerks, to all those who have had to deal with my often annoying phone calls, thank you. I know it is popular today to deride public service, but I can say first hand you are an honor to this City and worthy of great praise.
“When I first sought office in 1999, I did so with the conviction that new voices had to be heard. When I first won office in 2001, I never intended to stay as long as I did. It seems fitting at this point to note that I am returning to that fundamental principle that led me to pursue election. Our electoral process is the way for new voices to be heard and I encourage anyone who feels called to seek public office to go for it. I honestly can say at this point, I can think of no greater, no nobler calling or service to your community to both seek election and serve the great people of Quincy.
“Finally, let me say, I am committed to serving out what remains of my term with great vigor. I will continue to uphold the sworn responsibility of this office for as long as I serve. Thank you very much.”
The nine city council positions – three at-large and the six ward posts – along with three school committee seats will be on the ballot this fall. The mayor’s seat – held by Thomas Koch – is not on the ballot since the term is now four years and is at the mid-point.
Nomination papers for nine city council and three school committee seats are available at the City Clerk’s office starting Tuesday, May 2.