Mayor Tish Colombi surprised a capacity crowd of about 200 at the 41st Annual Haddonfield Mayor's Breakfast today by announcing she will not seek another term as a borough commissioner after 28 years.
"I've been thinking about it for the last few months and this is the designated time for elected officials to make an announcement," said Colombi, 67, after the breakfast. "If I was going to make a decision based on how I felt today, I'd say 'go for it.' But I have to think about how I'm going to feel two years from now or three. I have to think about if I can do the job the way I'm used to doing it, all out."
Colombi has been the mayor for 12 years and a commissioner for 28. She remains the only woman ever elected to the borough Board of Commissioners. The three commissioners' terms expire in May. Candidates must declare for the four-year terms by March 15.
In addition to Colombi, the terms for commissioners Ed Borden and Jeff Kasko also expire in May. Borden and Kasko, who both delivered their state of the borough reports at the Mayor's Breakfast, declined to say earlier this week if they will run for re-election.
On Monday, Colombi was coy about her announcement.
"Can't abandon the ship," she said when asked if she planned to run for re-election. Colombi said Saturday her comment was directed at Borden and Kasko when they declined to say if they were running for re-election. She did not clarify the statement when she made it on Monday.
Colombi choked up several times during her announcement Saturday. She kept a tissue in hand and wiped away tears as she spoke.
"Tish is a role model and she has set the bar high for civic-minded women," said Judy Greenberg, 53, a homemaker and PTA member from Chestnut Street. "I was just telling her she can drive through town and pat herself on the back and say 'I did that, and that, and that.'"