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Four-term Heath Mayor John Ratcliffe not seeking re-election

HEATH – Heath Mayor John Ratcliffe announced today that he will not seek re-election after his fourth term ends in May.

Mayor Ratcliffe was first elected Mayor of Heath in May 2004, winning nearly 70 percent of the vote in a three-way contested race. Ratcliffe was re-elected without opposition in 2006, 2008 and 2010. The City of Heath does not place term limits on elected officials.

Mayor Ratcliffe expressed that one factor in his decision not to seek re-election was the increased time and travel demands for the strategic legal and consulting services provided by the company he founded in 2009 with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Mayor Ratcliffe, who served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas under President George W. Bush, cited his expanding role in support of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as another factor.

Under Mayor Ratcliffe’s leadership, the City of Heath tax rate never changed from .3433 cents per $100 valuation during eight consecutive budgets. Heath is the only municipality in Rockwall County without at least one or more tax rate increases over that eight-year span. Over the same period, the City’s financial ratings rose significantly to “AA” (“Very Strong”) status through multiple upgrades from all three of the nation’s leading bond rating agencies—Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors and Fitch Ratings.

“Not raising taxes during my tenure as Mayor was something that we’ve worked hard to achieve, and I am pleased for our citizens that we were able to accomplish this goal despite challenging economic times in our country,” said Mayor Ratcliffe.

“Heath’s future has never looked brighter, and after almost eight years, I am ready to look forward to new challenges. But, I will always remain incredibly grateful and forever indebted to the citizens of Heath for allowing me to serve as their mayor.”

The filing period for municipal elections begins on February 4, 2012, and ends on March 5, 2012. Election day is May 12, 2012.

No word yet about who may be running to replace him.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

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