“There is only one way I will leave before my term expires, and that is if the citizens of this community feel I am no longer a good fit as mayor. “

LEBANON, Missouri- Mayor Josh Ray has sought this week to put aside talk that he was also leaving office as part of a deal connected with the resignation of City Administrator Chris Heard. Today, he posted the following to make it clear he plans to remain in office:

“Early this week, I quelled a rumor about my resignation in the The Lebanon Daily Record. In the article, I said that any decision for me to resign would be a decision between my wife, boys, and I, and would factor in the financial hardship of running a sole proprietor business, balancing family time, and working my tail off for the City of Lebanon for a meager stipend.

I knew, when running for office, that I would have responsibility for this city and I knew the pay going into the job. I did not, however, expect the appreciation of the community to be starkly contrasted by the disdain from politicians.
What I have been able to accomplish over the past 14 months is something I am extremely proud of. I have managed to accomplish it while working 60 hours each week at my “day job.” I have successfully broken the cycle of older, retired men who do not need additional income running OUR CITY and presuming to know what is best for those of us who live humble lives.
I received a note at my shop yesterday from a former councilman that really hit me:
“Josh, do not step down as mayor. You have earned it.”

After 14 months in office, I had a very honest conversation with my family. My wife and two oldest boys told me the same thing that the majority of the community has told me:
You better not quit.

So, I am proud to clear up the rumors once and for all. There is only one way I will leave before my term expires, and that is if the citizens of this community feel I am no longer a good fit as mayor.

You have not given up on me, and I will not give up on you. Your support has been inspiring. I will keep working hard for the community, so that Lebanon can be the that “Friendly people, friendly place” it professes to be, across all social classes, across all family histories, whether your WWF or WCW, or whether your DC or Marvel.
Let’s move forward to improve our already great town!