Ward 1 Alderman Michael Jones ’11 will not run for a second term on the Board of Aldermen.
In an announcement to the News, Jones said he would not seek reelection because he has yet to find a job in the area that he would want to stay at after graduation. While Jones could have waited until August to file as a candidate, he said postponing his decision until then would have unfairly compromised the ability of other candidates to run for his seat in November.
“It’s time for someone else to come through and make their mark,” Jones said in an interview Wednesday night.
There are currently no declared candidates in the race, and rather than build the infrastructure for a reelection campaign, Jones said he decided it best to focus on his job search. If he had committed now to running for another two-year term as alderman, he would have had to take “a job just to have a job,” he said.
Jones said he is confident that a good successor could be found for his seat on the 30-member Board of Aldermen.
“There are many talented people at Yale who have made it their mission to give back to New Haven — I’m sure someone will step up,” Jones said.
Aldermen interviewed Wednesday night said they respect Jones for his contributions to the Board of Aldermen.
“When we’re at odds, I know I can be frank with him,” Ward 30 Alderman Darnell Goldson said. “He’s a smart guy who listens to all sides and makes decisions based on facts, not political friendships.”
Goldson added that he was hoping to work with Jones if he stayed on for a second term on several legislative initiatives, especially those concerning affordable housing in New Haven.
“He’s a bright guy, and as a graduate of Yale he’ll have opportunities all over the country,” Ward 29 Alderman and Board President Carl Goldfield said. “No one would fault him if he decided staying wasn’t in his best interest.”
Ward 7 Alderwoman Frances “Bitsie” Clark is one of Jones’ greatest admirers on the Board. Calling him a “wonderful young man,” Clark implored Jones to stay on for another term.
Jones said he has already learned a tremendous amount from his time as an aldermen, and recommended the position as a way to “give back to the community.”
“The Board of Aldermen has been as informative as a classroom as any of those on campus,” Jones said.
Jones said he intends to continue his work on the issues he has worked on as alderman after his term ends in December. But before then, he said, he intends to see his proposals to expand the city’s living wage ordinance and protect transgendered New Haveners become law.
“I still have a third of my term left,” Jones said. “I’m not ready to reflect back yet.”