Tom Marion is completing his final months as mayor of Keokuk after choosing not to seek a fifth term in office. He said while he enjoys leading his hometown, he knew the time was right to step aside.
“I almost didn’t run the last time,” said Marion. “I did because I thought we would need a transition period for the new city administrator. There are a lot of reasons for me moving on… and it gives an opportunity for new faces to help run the city.”
Marion does not plan to endorse any of the four people running for mayor in next week's election. He said it should be up to the people to decide who serves them.
Marion said once he is out of office at the end of the year, he and his wife Debbie plan to split their time between Keokuk and Des Moines because their first grandchild is on the way in Des Moines. He said they both are willing to continue serving on local boards and commissions if asked.
Marion said he would like to remain active in local economic development activities, in particular Amjet Turbine Systems. He said his goal is for the company to begin production in Keokuk soon, manufacturing small scale water turbines.
Marion said he is proud that during his tenure the city negotiated for more time to work on the on-going multi-year, multi-million dollar sewer separation project. He said he’s also glad that the city acquired the former railroad depot along the riverfront.
“We’ve been trying to work on our riverfront,” said Marion. “It’s a very historic building and it’s being renovated to its original standards and it looks great. It helps open up the riverfront.”
Marion shared a piece of advice to whomever wins the mayoral race.
“You can do what you feel is appropriate, but for instance, let the city administrator do his job,” said Marion. “Don’t continually try and tell him what to do. He needs to do his job. Don’t bother him.”