Astoria City Councilor Zetty Nemlowill will not seek re-election in November.
Nemlowill, who represents Ward 1 on the city’s west side, announced her decision Monday, the day before the filing deadline, after months of being unsure what she would do.
“It has been a difficult decision because I’m so passionate about Astoria, but this will allow me more time to focus on the work I do outside of city government,” she said in a statement.
Since the beginning of the year, Nemlowill was uncertain about whether she would campaign for another four-year term. As the filing deadline loomed, no one seemed interested in going after the Ward 1 seat. Then David Drafall, a hairdresser at One Six Five West Bond beauty salon, announced his candidacy in mid-August.
Drafall could be unopposed. Nemlowill said she has not heard of anyone else interested in running. City staff have not received any other applications.
Nemlowill’s decision ensures the makeup of the City Council will change markedly next year. Mayor Arline LaMear announced in January that she would not run again. City Councilor Cindy Price, who had planned to run for mayor, withdrew from the race this month, citing family reasons.
City Councilors Tom Brownson and Bruce Jones are the only councilors who will remain. After Price’s withdrawal, Jones announced he will run for mayor.
If Jones loses the mayoral election to Dulcye Taylor, the president of the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association, he would stay on the council, since his term does not end until 2020. If Jones is elected mayor, a new councilor would likely be appointed to fill out his term.
Nemlowill is the marketing director for the Astoria Co-op Grocery and the mother of three young children. The downtown natural and organic food store plans to expand to a larger building in the Mill Pond neighborhood. Her husband, Chris, is the co-founder of Fort George Brewery, and she had referenced both job and family obligations as reasons she may not run again.
Nemlowill was elected to the City Council in 2014 after nine years on the Planning Commission. She hoped to be an advocate for younger families and engage them on diverse city issues.
“It has been an honor to serve with such a talented city manager, staff and colleagues,” she said Monday. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
She does not have any immediate plans to be directly involved with city government when her time on the City Council ends in December.
“In my 13 years volunteering for the city, I’ve also started a business, sold a business, gotten married, had three kids and started a new career,” she said. “I’m ready to take a little step back from politics, but there are other ways to help make Astoria great, like raising awesome kids and helping community-minded businesses grow and flourish.”