By Josh Resnek
Longtime Ward 4 Councilor John Leo McKinnon has failed to file nomination papers thus ending his political career for now.
McKinnon, who has served as the Ward 4 councilor for almost 20 years, has refused to divulge why he is failing to run.
He is also refusing to give any specificity as to what he might be doing in place of his council position, which he seemed to take great pride in.
“He is one of my best friends on the council and I am in the dark just like everyone else,” said Councilor at Large Wayne Matewsky.
“He didn’t return my calls for two weeks and now this. I am frankly surprised and just a bit amazed,” he told the Leader Herald.
Councilor at Large Mike Marchese said he too was caught off guard by McKinnon’s failure to hand in his signatures and get his name certified as an incumbent for re-election.
“It is hard to imagine him just quitting like that without having something else to fall back on,” Marchese added.
Councilor Mike McLaughlin wished McKinnon the best in a letter to the editor appearing in this edition of the Leader Herald.
“I’ve always gotten along with him. He has always treated me with respect. I will miss his presence on the council,” McLaughlin told the Leader Herald.
Several of McKinnon’s colleagues who wished to remain unnamed said they believed McKinnon was tired of the council and that the council had gone from something congenial, close and friendly, to a more contentious and deeply personal arena where some councilors tried to hurt others.
One of his colleagues in government said it was highly unlikely the mayor was giving him a city position.
“He doesn’t really have the support or that kind of relationship with the mayor at this point. I don’t see him getting a city job,” said the colleague.
Repeated efforts to reach McKinnon on his cell failed on Sunday and Monday.
“Whatever he is doing, wherever he is heading, only he knows and he presently isn’t saying anything,” revealed yet another longtime friend. Jimmy Tri Le, a local real estate broker with no political experience, will be taking McKinnon’s place by default, assuming no one comes forward with a sticker campaign.
For Le, it is the opportunity of a lifetime and a bit of good luck he might never have imagined.
Mr. Le is a Westover Street resident. He is in his late 20’s.