Mayor Pokorney won't run in 2014

Written by Kelly Ducote, The Observer October 28, 2013 03:17 pm

 http://youtu.be/-eRLyKaIAac

La Grande mayor Daniel Pokorney
La Grande mayor Daniel Pokorney
 

La Grande Mayor Daniel Pokorney announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2014.

He will finish out his second term as mayor, which ends Dec. 31, 2014.

Pokorney said he is announcing his decision now in order to give potential candidates time to decide on their intentions. Individuals interested in filing for mayor or for councilor positions must do so in the city recorder’s office before the close of business on March 11, 2014. The primary election is May 20, 2014. The general election is Nov. 4, 2014.

“The founding fathers set up all levels of governance to be filled by interested citizens,” Pokorney said. “Periodic turnover of elected officials gives the voters a real choice of leaders.”

By the end of 2014, Pokorney will have served La Grande for 16 years, eight on the La Grande School Board, four as a 
La Grande city councilor and four as mayor.

Mayor Pokorney said he wants to give other citizens a chance to step up to provide leadership as mayor and make a difference in La Grande.

“People say ‘No one’s running against you. You must be doing a good job.’ I don’t necessarily buy into that,” he said. “I hope this will spur some people to file for the mayor spot and also for some councilor spots.” 

Until the end of 2014, Pokorney said he will “work every second” for the city, even on long-term projects like enhancing the city’s economic development agenda and on the budget for the next fiscal year. And, he added, he will continue to attend hundreds of community events throughout the year.

“There’s no reason for me to shy away from that,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. Just because I’m not going to be there on the other side of that doesn’t mean I won’t be a part of it.”

 

After his term, Porkoney says he will continue working for Boise Cascade and has no plans for running for elected office.

“Actually, it sounds kind of hokey, but for several years now, I’ve been thinking about writing a book,” he said.

He said he would like to capture some of the twists and turns he’s encountered in his life in an autobiography while staying as active as possible in La Grande.

“I’ll continue to be involved community-wide and in organizations,” he said. “That stuff doesn’t go away.”

Pokorney’s involvement was noted by councilors, who said they are sad to see him go.

“His not running is a shame because I don’t think we’ve ever had a mayor who has been more dedicated to representing the city than he is,” said Councilor John Lackey. 

Lackey said Pokorney appears at nearly every community event, “night after night, weekend after weekend.”

“He’s done a great job, I think,” Lackey said.

Councilor Mary Ann Miesner, who served with Pokorney on the school board and later on the city council, said Mayor Pokorney will be a hard act to follow.

“I don’t think we’ve had a mayor that has been so conscientious,” she said, noting that Pokorney seeks input from inside and outside the council.

Miesner said she appreciates that Pokorney allows the councilors to voice their thoughts and concerns.

“We’ve had, I believe, a very cohesive council,” she said. “Obviously he’s going to be missed because he’s been a very good mayor.”

Contact Kelly Ducote at 541-786-4230 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Kelly on Twitter @lgoDucote.