Olympia mayor says he won’t seek re-election in 2015

Olympia mayor Stephen Buxbaum said Monday that he will not seek re-election during 2015.

He was elected to Olympia City Council in 2009, and elected mayor in 2011. His term will expire next December.

“I’m really excited about 2015,” said Buxbaum, 59. “I have a lot of enthusiasm for the things we have on our agenda, and am looking forward to giving my very best to the community over this next year.”

Mayor pro-tem Nathaniel Jones said Buxbaum has helped the city address housing, homeless and social services issues. He also praised Buxbaum’s leadership on an effort to increase the city’s power over downtown properties that are in poor condition, through the creation of a Community Renewal Area.

“I think two big things stand out for me: One is the Pear Blossom Family Shelter (in the former Smith Building) and the other is the work that’s moving forward with Community Renewal,” Jones said. “...He’s laid a really strong foundation, at this point, for Community Renewal.”

Buxbaum said he wanted to make the announcement before the City Council’s annual retreat, which is scheduled Jan. 9, so that his colleagues would know his intentions.

Jeannine Roe, who has the longest tenure on the City Council, described Buxbaum as a hard worker who was focused on his role as mayor.

“I think he put in a tremendous amount of effort to help improve our homeless community,” Roe said. “He worked hard on the Smith Building and the People’s House.”

Buxbaum said his priorities for next year include continued work on the development of a Community Renewal Area for downtown, putting together a plan to preserve Percival Landing and advocating for a new Olympia Library.

Buxbaum is an adjunct faculty member for the Master in Public Administration program at The Evergreen State College. He also has a consulting firm.