Johnstown Mayor Kevin Riffe said he plans to sit on village council again after the Nov. 8 election, but will not seek a fourth term as mayor.

Johnstown Mayor Kevin Riffe said he plans to sit on village council again after the Nov. 8 election, but will not seek a fourth term as mayor.

In Johnstown, the mayor is elected by village council from among its members.

Riffe, who served as village mayor from 2004-05 and again from 2008 through the present, said it’s another council member’s turn to take the reins.

He said he enjoyed his time as mayor but council has “some other people that would do a good job at it, too.”

“I was lucky enough to serve two, two-year terms back to back so I think it’s probably time for somebody else to pick up the torch and run with it,” Riffe said. “I’ll just sit on the panel and still put my advice in.”

Riffe still has to get re-elected to council Nov. 8 by Johnstown residents.

He and current council members David Keck and Chris Speck, also up for re-election, are running unopposed.

Speck, who was appointed to council in February 2010 to fill the unexpired term of Cletus Beam, said he’s excited for this first full-term election.

He said he was a little surprised that the three are running uncontested but said he believes “people are pleased with the direction Johnstown is going in.”

Speck, who has lived in Johnstown all his life, said he initially wanted to join council to make the village a better place where his kids could grow up.

“We’re heading in the right direction. I just want to keep that direction, keep that ball rolling,” Speck said.

“Now an issue for me is to be a good financial steward. I want to be responsible with the village’s money, and I want to decrease the amount of debt the village has.”

Council recently saw the village budget at the All Committee Meeting on Oct. 12. The village’s debt load decreased from $8.4 million at the beginning of 2011 to a projected $7.3 million at the start of 2012.

David Keck ran unopposed two years ago. He is seeking his second full term. He was appointed to council in 2007.

Keck said he has several ideas to put before council during his next two years of service.

He wants to make “sure we maintain vital services” at the current level or higher without raising taxes. “That would be the police and fire and streets and so on.”

Keck also wants to find room in the budget, or through private investments, to pay for more recreational places for teens to hang out.

In addition, he said he believes council needs to continue to have positive relationships with the local school board, community business leaders and villages throughout Ohio.

“Having either a sister city relationship or some other kind of regular contact where we could get ideas and exchange ideas with other communities that have similar circumstances,” Keck said.

Riffe, Keck and Speck will continue to serve on council alongside Sean Staneart, Joyce Evans, Sharon Hendren and Carol VanDeest.

From the group, council will elect the new village mayor during its first meeting in January 2012.

For Riffe, though, the pressure is still on for the Nov. 8 election.

“I still want to be the top vote- getter,” he joked.