Livonia's longtime mayor is stepping down
Mayor Jack Kirksey is leaving after 2 consecutive terms, 4 overall
LIVONIA, Mich. – Summing up 16 years in office isn't easy for Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey.
He first ran for mayor in 1987 and lost by 96 votes. He ran again 8 years later and won.
He served two terms, leaving office in 2003 because of term limits. He sat out for 4 years and became mayor again.
"People came to me just before the Friday deadline and said, 'You know, you really need to come back," said Kirksey.
Now he's leaving after two consecutive terms and he has no plans to return to office in the future.
This is it. He and his wife Patt are looking forward to traveling.
"This will be the first time that we've actually had a real vacation," he said.
It's just a day before his final state of the city address on Wednesday and he has yet to figure out exactly what he is going to say.
"I never go up with a written speech," he said.
Kirksey said his biggest success as mayor was getting the Rec Center built. He calls working with Wayne County on the roads his biggest failure.
"It's one thing that you're building a road out here, but you know what kind of road it is, that you've taken a look at the contractor you've awarded the contract to," he said.
This great grandfather is one of the oldest mayors in metro Detroit at 86 years old. The reason why he's stayed so long at his age is simple.
"I think working or some form of ... saying to yourself each morning you wake up: there is a reason for me to get up and get out," he said.
Kirksey will deliver his final state of the city Wednesday morning at Laurel Manor. More than 500 people are expected to be there for his speech.
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