BLOOMINGTON — Mayor Tari Renner said his decision not to seek a third term in office will make way for a "fresh perspective" to help lead the city through the next four years.
Renner, who has held the position since 2013, announced Wednesday morning that he would not run in the April 2021 election.
"While I am very proud of a lot of the accomplishments that we've made and certainly leaving Bloomington in much better hands than it was eight years ago," Renner said, "I think it is not a bad idea to have perhaps a new fresh perspective for someone to take Bloomington to the next level in terms of economic development, some of the capital projects we've had."
He added that getting people from all walks of life and younger citizens involved in local government would be beneficial to the city.
Renner, a political science professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, said the decision not to run again was a "long time coming," and he consulted with friends, supporters and political activists. He said he is leaving the city in good financial shape, especially given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Municipal elections for mayor and aldermen of odd numbered wards will be on April 6, 2021.
Some immediate challenges his successor would face include following through with capital projects, such as the construction of the aquatic center at the site of O'Neil Pool and the public library expansion.
"I'm certainly very proud of the fact that we've really managed to open up the doors to City Hall, and it's going to make it hard to go backwards in the future," he said, "because I think people are now more involved and City Hall listens, whereas that wasn't always the case in the past."
Renner said he would help the new mayor achieve a smooth transition.
“Mayor Renner’s tenure is marked by endless passion and boundless energy,” Ward 7 Alderman Scott Black said in a city news release. “He never waivers from the things he believes — a rare attribute in politics.”
Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy noted in the news release Renner’s “energy and passion for working with minority communities, and his leadership on building and funding our award-winning plan to pay down Bloomington pension debt.”
Renner said he plans to still be involved in the community in some capacity.
"I'm not going anywhere," he said.