Somerset Borough mayor will not seek re-election

February 18, 2013

Somerset Borough Mayor William Meyer's 16th year in office will be his last.

 "It's been a privilege to serve the people of Somerset Borough," he said. "The time has come to move on."  Meyer, 81, said he will not run for re-election. His term ends at the end of the year.  He first ran for mayor after selling his shares of Findley's Pharmacy to his partners and working at the hospital for a few years. He was approached by some borough residents asking him to consider running. He ran against

Somerset Borough Mayor William Meyer sits at his desk
Somerset Borough Mayor William Meyer sits at his desk inside the Somerset Borough Public Safety Building. Meyer announced he will not seek re-election this year. (February 18, 2013)

incumbent Mayor Bill Korns and won.

 Meyer said he knew nothing about serving as mayor when he was approached about running.  The mayor's main responsibility is to oversee the police department. Meyer took over shortly after Brad Cramer became chief. Meyer said Cramer was "patient" with him as he learned about police work. He said, with the exception of a few individuals, the borough has had a strong police department. 

 Meyer said he is proud of the police department and will miss working with the officers.  "I just like working with the guys," he said.   During his tenure Meyer started the bicycle patrol, DARE program and the school resource officer.

But police Chief Randy Cox said Meyer sells himself short and should be taking credit for more.  "Anything positive we've been able to accomplish would have never come to fruition if the mayor said 'no I don't want to do that,'" Cox said.  Cox also credits Meyer with the implementation of the motor unit, installing computers in the cruisers, accreditation and revamping the schedule and hiring process. He said Meyer was always open to discussion, even when they did not agree.  "Personally I'm always going to be indebted to him," Cox said. "A person has to be really confident and comfortable in his own skin to let someone come in here from outside the community and department and do what we've done over the years."

 Meyer hired Cox from a neighboring county.   Meyer said he enjoys sharing an office with Cox, just as he did with Cramer. Cox admitted the practice is unique, however, he has benefited from sharing a workspace with him.  "My experience with Bill is he has been tremendous," he said. "He was able to find that balance point between execution of his office without inserting himself in areas that require the expertise of a trained officer."

 Borough council President Ruby Miller said Meyer has been a great mayor and spokesman for the borough.  "He knew everybody," she said. "He has a great personality."  She said that he has always offered advice and solutions when she needed assistance, even before she served on the council.  "He's just been very good for the borough," she said. "I'd hate to lose him but I can understand he wants to spend time with his grandkids."

 Meyer said he plans to keep busy.  "I haven't played golf in 15 years," he said.   He has been involved with volunteer work, working with Little League, midget football, pastoral council and Tableland's board.  He expects that he will do more volunteering after his term is completed.   "It's time to get somebody younger to bring new ideas," he said. 

 Meyer said that he always remembers what Ross Perot  — who ran for President in 1992 and 1996 — said about how being a politician is not to be a lifelong occupation.   "I always remembered that," he said. "I don't want to be classified as a politician."   

Meyer said he is willing to help with the transition of a new mayor.  "I encourage anyone who thinks they may like the office to give me a call or get the paperwork and fill out a form," he said.  The municipal primary is May 21.

Copyright © 2013, Daily American

Posted 02-29-13

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