O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham will not seek re-election

After two decades as the mayor of O’Fallon, Gary Graham will not seek re-election.

“I am filled with excitement for the future and the next step,” Graham wrote in a four-page letter to the community. “There is no better time to be part of the O’Fallon community.”

In his retirement letter, Graham said O’Fallon has grown from a community of 15,000 residents in the early 1990s to more than 32,000 today and is “one of the top five cities in the St. Louis region that families and businesses are choosing to call home.”

Graham touted the city’s accomplishments over the last 20 years, which include:

▪  Construction of the new St. Elizabeth’s Hospital currently underway

▪  The city’s bond rating of AA plus is one of the highest levels from Standard and Poor’s

▪  Transformation of downtown from vacant buildings to a shopping and dining district

▪  Construction of a state-of-the-art fire station on Venita Drive

▪  O’Fallon Family Sports Park which draws tens of thousands of visitors to the city

“The greatest reward I have received has been to see this city that I love soar,” Graham wrote in the letter.

Graham first ran for mayor in the 1990s. He holds the record for the longest serving O'Fallon mayor — 1997 to date, which will be 20 years when his term ends. Runner-up is Ralph Kampmeyer (1921-1935), according to local historian Brian Keller.

Monday’s City Council meeting marked the 456th one the mayor has attended, he said.

He thanked his wife, Lucia, children and grandchildren for never complaining, he said, “when a call came in from someone who needed my help at all hours of the day and night.”

Graham will retire at the end of his term in April 2017.

Ward 3 Alderman Herb Roach has announced his intention to run for mayor.

Return for more on this developing story.

Jamie Forsythe: 618-239-2562, @BND_JForsythe

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