Schumacher doesn't rule out another run for office some day.
After two terms on Common Council, Ald. Michael Schumacher has decided not to run again next spring.
Although he's only been on the council a short time, Schumacher had been, until recently, one of the most active council members. He was so busy, in fact, there were rumors -- which he denied -- that he was eyeing a run for mayor.
The north-side alder says he decided to step down because his business is forcing him out of town frequently, he is contemplating building a house outside the city, and because his mother, who lives in Las Vegas, is getting older, and he'd like to spend more time with her.
"Council work ends up being a full time job," he says. "I love the work. It's a great honor and privilege to do this."
But, he adds, the job demands too much of his time. Some days, he says, he'd be downtown by 8 or 9 a.m. and wouldn't return home until midnight. "Where I am in my work right now, it's hindering what I need to do."
Schumacher says that although he is encouraging lots of people to run, he is not looking at "handpicking" a successor. "I'd rather see it be a process. This is truly an open seat."
Ald. Mark Clear, council president, says Schumacher will be missed. "I think he's done a terrific job and I've really enjoyed working with him. It's a loss to the council," Clear says. "It points out the extreme difficulty of trying to run your own business and be an alder at the same time."
Schumacher hopes he's done a good job on council, but "I don't want to toot my own horn."
"I feel good for myself," he says. "I feel I've given the best I can give."
Schumacher doesn't rule out another run for office some day. "For the rest of my life, I will have far more respect for locally elected officials. I will know what they're going through."
Schumacher is the first to announce his plans for the spring 2011 election. The entire council, which runs on two-year terms, will be up for election. Clear has heard that some of his colleagues are on the fence about whether or not to run for office again. Clear has yet to decide. "Usually sometime in October people make those decisions."