Mesa voters will elect - or possibly re-elect - a mayor this fall, but so far not a single person has announced intentions to lead Arizona's third-largest city.
Mayor Scott Smith said he'll keep a promise to announce his decision by the end of January. A likely option would be Thursday, when he'll command the attention of hundreds in a sold-out room for the annual mayor's breakfast.
The first-term mayor said he's still thinking about it.
"I've pretty much decided, but not 100 percent," Smith said. "I'm still going back and forth."
The breakfast event is the format Smith has used for his state of the city addresses. He plans to announce a major initiative, which also has yet to be revealed.
Smith said he hasn't accomplished everything he wants in what's the fourth year of his term. But the former homebuilder said he needs to weigh that against the needs of his family, finances and personal life.
Smith never held public office before 2008 but quickly established a national presence. He's been interviewed by numerous newspapers and cable news programs for his views on the national debt, economic growth and how Mesa cut its budget during the recession without making too many cuts to city services.
Smith has traveled to Washington several times through his leadership role in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, including several meetings with President Barack Obama. He's the organization's second vice president, and - if he's re-elected - is in line to be the conference's president in 2013.
He would be the first Arizona mayor to hold that position, which would further raise his national profile.
Mesa pays its mayor about $37,000 a year. Smith said he works 40 hours in "a light week" and 80 hours during busier times. He called the job rewarding but said it carries a burden of never being off the clock.
"When I came on board, I promised to be a full-time mayor and I want to make sure that I can continue to make the kind of commitment to do the job right," he said.
City Clerk Linda Crocker said no residents have called to inquire about running for mayor. Candidates must file between April 30 and May 30. Candidates must file 2,428 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The primary election is in August and the general takes place in November.
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