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Kovash will step down as mayor

Wishes to retire from public service; will stay on until end of month

KovashWest Linn Mayor John Kovash will resign from his post at the end of the month, he announced Monday night.

Kovash, who has been mayor since 2010, said he and his wife are planning to move into a retirement community and would like to dedicate their full attention to that endeavor.

"I'm 74-years old, and it's time for us to retire," Kovash said in his announcement at the end of Monday's City Council meeting. "It's been a great ride, thank you all."

Moving forward, the City Council may either appoint an interim mayor or operate with a four-person council until a special election is held in either May or November. City charter states that interim mayors are to be appointed by City Council vote after a formal application process.

Should one of the current City Councilors be appointed interim mayor, he or she would have to vacate that seat on the council.

Kovash said he plans to serve through the end of the month to help with the transition. For a special election to be held in May, the deadline for candidates to file would be March 9.

"I think, provided that the council can allow the public a few weeks notice to decide to run and turn their forms in ... they'll probably put it on the ballot (in May)," City Manager Chris Jordan said. "If it ended up later than that, the election would have to be in November."

Kovash and his family have lived in West Linn since 1988, and his service to the city began when he was appointed to the planning commission in 2003. He was voted chair of the planning commission Jan. 22, 2004, then served as vice chair from January to December of 2008.

He was elected to City Council in November 2008, and briefly served as City Council President until he was appointed to replace Patti Galle as interim mayor in April 2010. In September of that same year, voters formally elected Kovash to finish Galle's term, and he was later re-elected in 2012.

Kovash's term is set to expire Dec. 31, 2016.

More to come.

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