05/08/11 — Mayor not sure he will run again

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Mayor not sure he will run again

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 8, 2011 1:50 AM

Mayor Al King has known for some time that there wouldn't be an election this year.

What he doesn't know is whether he will be a part of the next one -- whenever it finally takes place.

Leading up to this year following the 2010 Census, King said he already knew that the demographics of the city's six districts had changed enough in the past decade to require a population shuffle.

With the mayor and all six council member positions all due for re-election, Interim City Manager Tasha Logan has said the election will likely be held in fall 2012 and feature candidates competing for three-year terms.

King inherited the remaining 23 months of the late Hal Plonk's term in January 2002. He was elected to his first four-year term in November 2003 and again in 2007, but King said he is unsure about his future, simply because he has less stressful options.

"My son, Kevin, is an airline pilot. He flies all over the world. I can fly for free. He hates that I have this job. He's my best buddy and he says 'Dad you need to give that up.' The airlines give him a room and I can stay with him and it costs me nothing," King said.

He also could be working on his game at the golf course, he said, just as he was when he received a call from a City Council member back in 2001 about being mayor.

"That's why I don't have much patience for people who say 'I'm not gonna vote for you.' Do you think I care? I don't have to be here," he said. "If that's the way you feel, I don't blame you. I wouldn't vote for me either. I could have more fun doing other things".

King said a conviction of civic duty has kept him in office the past seven years.

"I've worked all my life. I've retired twice and people ask why do you keep doing that? I don't know. I think I'm helping," he said. "I think I'm making a difference and I think that is my responsibility. Why am I still here? Because I think it's the thing to do."

King entered the Air Force in October 1956 and retired in 1976, then worked for the City of Goldsboro as director of personnel and safety from February 1979 until his retirement in April 2000.

As far as how long he will do it, King said he thinks something will clue him in when it's time to end his public service and head back to the links.

"How long should I do it? I don't know. I think something will tell me it's time to go, I really do, and I haven't been told that completely yet."