Pleasant Ridge mayor decides not to seek reelection

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published May 12, 2021

 Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger announced that he will not seek a third term as mayor in November. Metzger, center, started his time as mayor in 2013 with, from left, city commissioners Bret Scott, Ann Perry, Jason Krzysiak and Jay Foreman.

Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger announced that he will not seek a third term as mayor in November. Metzger, center, started his time as mayor in 2013 with, from left, city commissioners Bret Scott, Ann Perry, Jason Krzysiak and Jay Foreman.

Photo provided by Kurt Metzger

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PLEASANT RIDGE — The mayor of Pleasant Ridge has announced that he will not be seeking reelection this fall.

After eight years as head of the Pleasant Ridge City Commission, Mayor Kurt Metzger revealed in April his decision not to run for reelection in November.

Metzger, 74, won his seat in 2013 and ran unopposed for a second term in 2017. Coming into this year, he said he didn’t want things to get stale or feel like he was going through the motions.

“I haven’t done it yet, but I think if I continued, it would get kind of routine and you just kind of lose that edge,” he said. “When I first got the gig, I wasn’t sure how long this was going to go ... but I had been thinking about it certainly for the last year, and I think my wife and I had pretty much agreed eight years was going to be it.”

Reflecting on his eight years as mayor, Metzger said he was proud of what he and the commission were able to accomplish. He touted Pleasant Ridge becoming more transparent, redoing the parks and the beginning of lead line replacements.

Metzger said the decision to step aside wasn’t health related. He said that he felt it was a good time to get someone new on the commission to help run the city.

“Everything needs some kind of turnover,” he said. “Let’s get somebody else in there, maybe some new ideas. We’ve done a lot over the last eight years. … I just feel a great sense of accomplishment and it’s time for someone else to enjoy the opportunity.”

City Manager James Breuckman stated in an email that Metzger was “one of the best public officials” he’s worked for in his career.

“His background working at the Census, and founding Data Driven Detroit gave him an understanding of issues facing the region,” Breuckman said. “He always brought that context to the issues facing Pleasant Ridge. He would quickly and clearly identify what was really important about the issues we’ve faced over his two terms and how best to handle them. He was fair in his decision making, steady in his leadership of the City Commission, and always sought to do what was best for the City with a minimum of fuss. I will miss him after he retires from public service in Pleasant Ridge this November.”

The election for Metzger’s open seat will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The deadline for candidates to file their petitions to run for office is 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 20.

When asked what the next mayor has to bring to this role, Breuckman told the Woodward Talk over the phone that every mayor has unique style.

“The next mayor’s not going to be like Kurt, but as long as the next mayor steps in with the best interest of the community at heart and is willing to humbly and seriously take on the role, we’ll be fine,” he said.

Taking the job as mayor in Pleasant Ridge is a voluntary commitment, as the position is not paid. Metzger felt he was grateful to become mayor and volunteer for his city, especially as he had never been a commissioner or worked on any committees before.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity in a community like this,” he said. “A small community to be able to give back to the city and being in that position, I feel very fortunate that I was elected and I got to serve.”

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