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Updated: Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice Won't Seek Re-Election

Cites 'heavy toll' public service has on elected officials and 'uniqueness' of his family situation as reasons for stepping away from politics.

Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice, 52, has announced he will not seek re-election this coming November after his four-year term expires.

In an email letter he sent to his friends and supporters, Rice said he had decided against running after spending "countless hours" discussing the matter with wife Linda.

"Those of us in the arena sometimes forget the heavy toll public service can extract on those we love – the time away from our families is significant – and the uniqueness of our family situation makes that even more important," he wrote.

Rice explained his youngest son, 19, has autism, and while very bright and is a freshman at Santa Clara University, needs help with his learning disabilities and participation from him in his support structure. "I've left everything to my wife and I need to be able to help at home," he said.

Rice, elected to the Council in November of 2008, said the past four years "have been some of the most enjoyable and rewarding in my life. We have accomplished much, and there is more to come."

He said since he began serving his one-year appointment as mayor in late November of 2011, a position that's voted on by Council members, the town has opened the new Los Gatos Library and will soon open the new Creekside Sports Park and Pageant Grounds.

"My enthusiasm and love for Los Gatos have not changed. Over the past 30 years, I have found many ways to serve our town, and I look forward to finding new ones in the future," Rice wrote. "I cannot tell you how much your support has meant to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Los Gatos Planning Commission Chairwoman Marcia Jensen announced early this month she was entering the race for a seat on the Los Gatos Town Council this coming November.

Also, Los Gatos Vice Mayor Barbara Spector has announced her intention to seek a third term on the Council.

Rice, a financial planner, followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, John Lincoln, who served on the Council and as mayor in the 1960s.

Council critics often say Rice is part of a body majority that unites on certain issues such as development projects. The other two Council members believed to be part of this majority are Council members Diane McNutt and Joe Pirzynski.

Robert Menkemeller June 01, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Having someone who's been entrenched in the Los Gatos Community for as long as Mayor Rice has is obviously a great asset to the Community. I know his efforts have been appreciated and he will be missed. Thanks for your expertise Mayor and best wishes on your journey forward!
AR June 01, 2012 at 05:03 AM
this will make it easier to rotate in fresh blood. the current council has become wildly unpopular with many in the community. while i appreciate his service, i would much rather see someone else holding this position
Sheila Sanchez June 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM
The deadline to file all required candidate papers ends Aug. 10 so there's time for people to consider running for the two open seats. It would be surprising if nobody else came forward to run and challenge Marcia Jensen and Barbara Spector. Rice said wouldn't be endorsing anyone until he knows all the candidates that are running.
Lara Allen Fabans August 28, 2012 at 02:13 AM
You and me both. I'm hoping he looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw, and is taking a different path. I liked Steve when I met him, I just don't like the way he's directing Los Gatos policy with increased high density housing in areas that cannot handle the traffic while turning away valuable business that would bring in much needed revenue to protect important assets like the Teen Center which had to close. And the $37000+ that this election will cost could have funded that.

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