In a virtual State of the City address posted to the city’s YouTube account Jan. 14, Lambertville Mayor Julia Fahl publicly declared that she would not be seeking re-election.
“After serving as Lambertville’s mayor for the past two years, I have chosen not to run for re-election this June," she said in the message. "This gift of time at home and this break in our once normal routines have caused many of us to reflect on exactly what we want to spend our time on and how we want to shape on our future."
Fahl cited wanting to focus more time on her family, marriage and personal endeavors for her decision. She thanked her supporters, while noting certain frustrating moments.
In the 12-plus minute address, Fahl discussed her accomplishments over the past two years.
Fahl noted the worldwide protests this summer over “social justice policies,” and outlined how her administration kept in stride with those.
“We created a better affordable housing policy, even with loud opposition, armed with slogans, but no solutions, we stood firm in our vision that a more inclusive Lambertville, was a better vision for Lambertville,” Fahl said.
The jab at opponents harkened back to her municipal facility consolidation plan, which has faced some opposition.
Fahl also highlighted increasing the minimum wage and benefits to city staff, as well as ending prison labor for trash collection that the city had previously utilized.
There is still almost a full year left in Fahl’s term, and she acknowledged that she would continue to work with the city’s Community Advisory Team (CAT) through the process of acquiring the Closson property.
Fahl closed as she began, mentioning the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the road ahead navigating those challenges.
The mayor’s address leaves the seat for the city’s mayoral position wide open, and eyes will be on the June primary.
Over 64 percent of Lambertville residents were registered Democrats as of spring 2020. Fahl defeated longtime incumbent Mayor David Del Vecchio in the Democratic primary in June 2018.
There was no Republican or Independent challenger in the general election that year.
Candidates seeking to run for the position of Lambertville mayor must file a petition no later than April 5, 2021, in order to appear on the ballot for the Primary Election on June 8, 2021.