LEAVENWORTH — Although Cheri Farivar's office doesn't have term limits, she said she believes in them.
The Leavenworth mayor is not running for re-election this year. She said the decision was made with her husband, who is retired. Even when she ran for a second term, she said, the couple figured it should be her last.
A Leavenworth native, Farivar, 65, was elected to the City Council in November 2009 and as mayor in November 2011.
She said she's looking forward to spending more time with her twin baby granddaughters.
"Honestly, it's just my focus has changed," she said.
Under Farivar's administration, the city began working an approximately $10 million project to upgrade the sewer plant, with construction set to start next year.
A transportation benefit district formed in 2010 has allowed for repaving and resurfacing of residential streets. Front and Commercial streets were completely rebuilt, and the same is planned for Pine Street.
The city and Planning Commission have also worked together to update the housing and development codes to tackle the local housing shortage. Weidner Apartment Homes is putting a complex behind Safeway, and a new Link transfer station is also underway in the same location.
"Economic vitality is really something that has happened in the last eight years," Farivar said. "I won't take credit for it — certainly not for all of it — but, boy, I'm sure pleased about it. The most rewarding part of the job, for me, has been helping to guide our growth in a direction that keeps our community vibrant and sustainable. I'm really gratified when the community comes together with the City Council and works through a significant problem that is going to make Leavenworth better."
But Leavenworth's development has also led to traffic and parking problems. Farivar said managing growth has been one of the most challenging parts of her job.
She has advice for her successor: They shouldn't take criticism personally, which she admits has been difficult for her.
"Never forget to listen to anybody who comes to you with a complaint or issue," she added. "Never forget to listen to that resident who is complaining about a pothole in front of their house or who is complaining about traffic."
Candidate filing is May 13-17. The primary is Aug. 6, and the general election is Nov. 5.