At the Henderson Ward 3 Neighborhood Connections meeting at Whitney Ranch Recreation Center on Monday October 1st, 2012, Henderson City Councilman John Marz stated that “people are urging me to change my mind” and run for election as the incumbent, despite being selected for his appointed position because he promised not to run. When he competed for the appointment to fill the seat left empty by the resignation of Kathleen Vermillion, also known as Kathleen Boutin, each of the applicants made a short speech before the Council voted on their selection, and Marz said that he would not run as the incumbent because he knew how much of an advantage the incumbent has in an election and that it would be unfair for an appointed Council member to run for election as the incumbent. The Council’s discussion as they voted made it clear that he was chosen over the other applicants for the job because he promised not to run as the incumbent.
When I spoke with Marz after the meeting, he stated that he had not made up his mind whether to run as the incumbent. He added that when he did make up his mind he would send a letter to everyone telling what his decision was and why he made it.
Henderson resident Irma Dutch was at the meeting and reacted to Marz’s statement saying, “I was shocked. I was sitting in the front row [at the City Council meeting] when he said ‘I promise I will not seek re-election as the incumbent.’ How can I trust this man about anything he says in the future? People might ‘urge him to change his mind.’ What can we do when we can’t trust our representatives?”
Dutch spoke to Mayor Andy Hafen after the meeting about this issue. As Hafen had said about several other issues during the meeting, he responded, “Keep the pressure on us.” During the meeting he had encouraged people concerned about when Galleria road construction would be finished to keep contacting the Council and the land developer, also saying “Keep the pressure on us.”
Dutch said, “A promise is a promise. I would go to any length to keep a promise. My word is so important that I would sacrifice anything to keep my promise. I have sacrificed in the past to keep my promise. You don’t give in to ‘urges’ when you promise.”