NEW ULM– Mayor Terry Sveine will not run for a second term, he announced in a statement on Tuesday.
He cited time commitment and health issues as his reasons against running.
Sveine was originally named mayor in June 2021 to complete the term of former mayor Robert Beussman, who resigned in April 2021.
Sveine’s term officially ends on December 31, 2022. He intends to remain mayor until the end of the term but will not run in November.
“It took a lot of thought and consideration on my part, and I can assure you that my decision was not made casually,” Svein said.
Counting the various responsibilities of the mayor, Sveine estimated that he spent 15 hours a month on the mayor’s activities.
“While that might not seem like a lot to someone currently employed, 40 hours a week or a business owner, but for a guy who was retired for six years before taking on the role of mayor, it’s a greater contrast, said the 68-year-old mayor.
“In my personal life, I spent over a year babysitting my eldest grandson all day, twice a week. He finally found a ‘real’ daycare last November, but I still regularly helps to watch him during the week, and now there is another grandson who also needs my time. I did not plan to have, they are, indeed, two part-timers”jobs” in their late 60s.
Sveine said that in his personal life he enjoyed doing historical research, writing and presenting programs about his work. Since becoming mayor, he hasn’t had time for this and other hobbies.
Sveine also acknowledged that as someone with type 2 diabetes, he has limited energy.
“If the new term was two years instead of four, I would probably accept it in a minute, but with a four-year term, I would be 72 by the time it ends,” he said. “Without being morbid, I need more quality time to do what I really want to do in the healthy years I have left.”
Sveine didn’t want to scare off any potential candidates for the job. He said a younger person with more energy would do well in the job requirements.
“For those of you considering the job, go for it, it’s rewarding! Also, the role of the mayor and the time he devotes to it is negotiable with a lot of leeway as to what you choose to do with it,” he said.
“I have enjoyed working with the talented and dedicated people I have met over the past year, and let me assure you that New Ulm is in good hands with the leadership in place,” Svein said. “I also feel that even though my term as mayor only lasted a year and a half, I’m happy with the things I’ve accomplished and the people I’ve been able to help. I am proud to add my name to the list of former mayors of New Ulm.
Being mayor was one of the highlights of my life. It’s the quintessential volunteer work for the city I love. It feels good to have people who greet you with kind words and good humor. It makes a person feel appreciated and made a difference. I will cherish my time as mayor!
Sveine hoped that by announcing this decision early, he would pave the way for others to come forward.
“I know the next mayor will do a great job for the city we all love, and I will leave office at the end of the year confident that New Ulm is in good shape,” he said.
The Mayor’s Office, as well as Wards 2 and 4 Councilors, are due for election in 2022. Those wishing to apply to be on the ballot should file with the City Hall Finance Office between 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17 and May 5. noon Tuesday, May 31.