Longtime Daphne City Councilman John Lake announced his candidacy for mayor in a letter to constituents dated July 12.

Lake, who has been a councilman for 24 years, is one of four candidates who have qualified to run for mayor, including incumbent Mayor Dane Haygood, Ben Cruitt and Tim Swanson.

Lake’s letter is printed in full below:

“After serving for 24 years as a Daphne City Council member, I’m taking this opportunity to notify everyone that I will be announcing my candidacy for the office of Mayor in Daphne.

“I had the honor of serving under three elected mayors – Harry Brown, Fred Small, and Bailey Yelding, all of whom are individuals I can say it was an honor to serve with. These individuals knew how to lead, and respected the people who helped make Daphne a great place to live and call home.

“I have decided that our Community needs a mayor who understands and believes that the taxpayers’ coffers belong to the tax payers. My campaign will be one of showing the people where their city is heading, and leading community members in a positive direction, helping people believe that true democracy is not micromanagement but is rooted in trust – trust of all those who helped and are helping to build a great community.

“Over the last few years it has become more and more apparent that if we do not change the direction of our community, our quality of life will be greatly compromised. We need to get citizens involved with how our community grows for each and every person living here, not just a few developers. I am proud to say that it in 24 years as an elected official that I have never used my position for personal gain nor will I ever do that. I have always put the citizens of Daphne first and my duties as an elected official above my own personal gain.

“The office of mayor is perhaps one of the most important positions in our government. Tip O’Neil, a cross-the-aisle ally of Ronald Reagan, once said, “All politics is local.”

“I have always held a few firm beliefs regarding governance:
•The best government is government that is not intrusive to peoples’ lives.
•To protect our quality of life we must be informed and educated.
•”Backroom deals” must not be allowed when negotiating on behalf of the entire city.

“Many actions on a local level can and will affect change on the national level. I believe this should always be a change for the greater good. That’s why it is so important that we have ethical people with morals and integrity in all political offices. We need leaders who have high standards and a reputation for accomplishing tasks with others while also maintaining the moral fiber to do what is right without concern of offending those who will destroy our community.

“It is for these reasons and many more that I am asking for all of my neighbors’ support over the coming months. I will let people know how I stand on issues. I invite people to thoroughly vet my background, as well as backgrounds of other candidates for mayor. I encourage every person to vote for the person they feel is the most qualified and knowledgeable to be the leader of their community.”

Municipal elections are Aug. 23.