Page One

Shirley Dean Veers Off Mayoral Campaign Trail

By Judith Scherr
Friday August 04, 2006

Former Mayor Shirley Dean says she’ll be on the campaign trail. 

But it won’t be as a challenger for mayor.  

Instead, she’ll be stomping for the Landmarks Preservation Initiative. 

In a phone conversation Thursday afternoon, Dean said she’d weighed her options. “How do you put together a campaign so late in the game?” she asked. Candidates have already raised funds and some organizations are already doing endorsements. 

The question of running for mayor surfaced last week, when community activist Merilee Mitchell, unbeknownst to Dean, took out some preliminary candidate papers in her name, and people began to call and ask her to run. 

Even though she won’t be holding an office, Dean said she’ll continue to make an impact, as she has over the almost-four-years she’s been away from City Hall. She’s worked to protect property-owners’ rights with respect to creeks, helped found Neighbors On Urban Creeks and has worked with the group Budget Watch, lobbying the council for various spending options. 

“I’m getting accustomed to being on the other side of the microphone,” Dean said, adding that the mayor and council should have to experience speaking from the public mic, especially when one has to put together thoughts in three—or sometimes one—minute. 

Dean said she has endorsed Gordon Wozniak and George Beier for City Council, but has not endorsed anyone for mayor. “My options are still open,” she said. “Nobody’s asked me.” 

At this point, “My first priority will be to get the Landmarks Preservation Initiative passed,” she said. 

Will she run in the next election? 

“I’ve got two years to sweat that decision,” Dean said.