LAYTON -- Three days after saying he was preparing to run for re-election in November, Layton Mayor Steve Curtis announced he will not seek a third term.
"I will continue to serve (in community service) with the same passion and love I have for this community for the rest of my life. However, I feel that my time as mayor will come to an end with this term," Curtis said.
"It is time for someone else to step in and continue building the legacy that is Layton city."
Curtis has been part of the Layton city government for 18 years, eight years as mayor and 10 years as a councilman.
The decision to not seek another four-year term came with a great deal of anxiety, said Curtis, 57.
He said "life events," such as a job opportunity with his employer, Wells Fargo Bank, and a desire to spend more time with his family, weighed heavily in his decision.
"I have a tendency to spend a lot of time doing the public's bidding," he said of the hours the mayor's job takes him away from home.
Curtis said his decision had nothing to do with the recent criticism the city has come under from a group of west Layton residents opposed to a proposed development on that side of the city.
"That doesn't scare me," Curtis said of the citizens group opposing the city's plan. "I believe in the things we have accomplished."
Layton council members Michael Bouwhuis and Joyce Brown were surprised by Curtis' decision, considering the mayor indicated at a March 7 meeting, when the question was posed to him by a resident, that he would seek re-election.
"I have been operating under the assumption that (Curtis) was in (as a mayoral candidate)," said Bouwhuis, who has served 10 years on the council.
"My response is, I am almost shocked a little bit. I have to do some soul-searching now. I have been interested in (the mayor's seat) for some time."
But Bouwhuis, president of Davis Applied Technology Center in Kaysville, stopped short of declaring himself a mayoral candidate.
Brown, who is also in her 10th year on the council, said Curtis' decision caught her by surprise.
Running for mayor is a thought that has crossed her mind, Brown said, but she has not wanted to challenge a sitting mayor.
"(Curtis) is going to be truly missed," Brown said, calling him a "mayor of the people" and noting his going out of his way to attend school DARE graduations and meet with Cub Scout groups at City Hall.
Although melancholy over having to make his decision, Curtis said he is through with politics and doesn't see himself running for another office in the future.
Curtis said he has always wanted to avoid party politics.
"I have spent 18 years in municipal government for a reason. That reason is because it is nonpartisan," he said.
Curtis said he is proud of what the city has accomplished during his political stay, including growing the recreation department, bringing family-oriented arts to the city, establishing a nationally recognized youth court and Layton Community Action Council, and growing the city's economic base.
Working with Hill Air Force Base and the military men and women stationed there has also been a privilege, he said.
"These are men and women who daily are willing to lay down their lives so that I can be free," Curtis said.
With his announcement, Curtis said, he expects there will be some interest in the mayor's office now.
Candidates have until June to file for candidacy in preparation for the Aug. 13 municipal primary and Nov. 5 general election.
Other Davis County mayors who have already stated publicly they will not be seeking re-election are Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson, Clearfield Mayor Don Wood and Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson.