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Meet The New Council Members: Mark Fox Of District 13

Mark Fox
Shannon Wells

Retired police major Mark Fox hopes to lead District 13 by relying on his law enforcement background, especially as he serves on the Metro Council’s Public Safety committee. The self-described “conservative” Democrat won his seat by edging out a Republican challenger with only a few dozen votes in November.

Fox also serves on the council's Public Works and Parks and Sustainability committees. You can listen to our conversation in the player above.

You won your election by a very small margin, one that was too close to call on election night. Why do you think it was that tight?

I really haven't analyzed it. I just wanted to stay focused on how I can best serve the people that had elected me. I'm a registered Democrat, however, a very conservative Democrat, having served in law enforcement. I'm a bit of a different Democrat, if you will, which I think is is true on a lot of local levels. The move nationally with the party is not reflective with me, nor what I've seen in the early innings of my career. So the district's about 51, 52 percent
Democrat. The mayor's race had an effect on that. The Republican candidate for mayor did very well in my district, and think that resulted in things being pretty close.

You're one of several new council members who are treating the job as a full-time position although technically it's not. Do you think it should be?

I guess it just depends on the area you serve. I personally feel my citizens deserve full-time representation. There are a lot of council districts that have a lot of smaller cities included in them that have their own governing bodies. So that's a decision for the councilperson to decide for themselves. Plus, I didn't run for this office until my life was in a position where I can commit to that. My daughter's grown, and I'm retired. I'm looking to take what I've built my life doing, and that is service to this community, and taking it to the next level. You can do 50, 60 hours a week very, very easily. I found that out and I'm good with that.

What sorts of questions or concerns have you been hearing from constituents in these first few weeks of your term?

Drainage and infrastructure are two of the things that I hear a lot. We just got our committee assignments for the council year. I'll be on the Public Safety Committee. And obviously with my police background, that's a perfect fit because I've dealt with firefighters, corrections officers, paramedics and EMT and the suburban fire districts, the urban district fire department, so that's a great fit. The other two committees are Public Works and Parks and Sustainability and I'm really excited about that.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.