AUBURN — Mayor Dick Gleason won't seek a second term, he announced Monday.
"I think it's important for everybody to step forward and take turns doing things, whether it's coaching Little League or helping with soccer," Gleason said Monday. "But that doesn't mean forever. I think it's just as important for everybody to take turns."
Gleason announced his decision at the beginning of Monday's regular council meeting with a brief statement during his mayor's report.
"I'd like to thank everyone who supported me beginning two years ago," Gleason said. "I've come to appreciate all the hard work that councilors and city employees do to make things right."
Gleason leads a group of four councilors who have said they are finished.
"I have no problems with what I've done," Ward 3 Councilor Dan Herrick said. "I'm just busy, I have to move on with my life and I'm totally happy with what I've tried to accomplish. I have no interest to run, other than to say I feel sorry that I will not be there to protect the people that are there."
In addition to Herrick, Ward 5 Councilor Ray Berube and At-Large councilor Eric Samson said they will not run again. Samson, a deputy with the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department, said his decision has more to do with his job than with local politics. He began working as the patrol officer in Poland this spring.
"I really knew it this spring, when my job changed," he said. "I know I just need to devote more time to that."
Ward 1 Councilor Mike Farrell, who did not attend Monday's meeting, said he did not intend to seek another term last month.
But some incumbents do plan on coming back.
Ward 2 Councilor Robert Hayes and Ward 4 Councilor David Young both said they have every intention of getting on November's ballot. Both are passing nominating petitions to get their names on the ballot.
At-Large Councilor Belinda Gerry said she is circulating two petitions, one for re-election to her current seat and another for mayor. She hasn't decided which she'll return.
"I do know that I could do the mayor's job, with my experience on the council and my time in the state Legislature," Gerry said. "The question I have is how I would best serve my constituents. That's what I haven't decided yet."
The list of mayoral contenders continued to grow Monday. Donald J. Bernard, of 2784 Turner Road, and Larry P. Morrissette, of 12 Oak St., began passing nominating petitions.
Candidate Leroy Walker Sr., of 41 Broad St., became the first council candidate to pass in his nomination petitions and guarantee a spot on the Nov. 8 ballot. He's seeking the Ward 5 council seat.
City Clerk Roberta Fogg said she had not received a legal argument from would-be candidate Evan Cyr, of 245 Broad St. explaining why he should be allowed to serve as a councilor while working as a teacher in the Auburn School District. Cyr currently teaches science at Edward Little High School.
"I told him he it is perfectly fine for him to take out nominations, get signatures and get on the ballot and even get elected," Fogg said. "But then he has to decide if he wants to serve or continue to teach at Edward Little. Because he can't do both."
Former City Council Ron Potvin, of 82 Northern Ave., Joshua Shea, of 30 Paul St., and local traffic engineer Jeremiah Bartlett, of 107 Shepley St. are all passing nominating petitions for the two at-large seats. Mary LaFontaine, 113 Western Ave., will seek the Ward 3 council seat.
Auburn candidates have until Aug. 25 to collect signatures for their nominating petitions.
Candidates for mayor need to collect at least 100 signatures from registered voters living anywhere in Auburn. Candidates for City Council or School Committee need to collect 25 signatures — from anywhere in the city for at-large candidates or from within individual wards for ward candidates.
According to City Charter, terms for Auburn's elected officials begin 45 days after the election, or Dec. 23, 2011.