Nickita retiring from Birmingham commission
By Lisa Brody
Birmingham City Commissioner Mark Nickita announced on Wednesday, July 14, he would not seek a fourth term on the commission in November 2021, retiring from the commission after serving 12 years on the commission, including two stints as city mayor.
Previously, Nickita served as a member of the city's planning board for over 10 years as well as on numerous city committees, for a total of 25 years of public service to the community.
“My connection with the city of Birmingham runs very deep, and I have enjoyed working as part of an amazing team to make it a better place for people” Nickita said. “With the help of countless staff members, excellent department heads, committed appointed board members, many dedicated city commissioner colleagues and exceptional city managers, I believe I have contributed to make the city of Birmingham an even greater place than it was when I moved here 33 years ago. I am thankful for the collaboration and commitment from the residents and business community that has been a critical component of creating a prosperous and livable community, that I believe will be successful and sustainable for many years to come.”
Nickita, an architect and urban planner, said he first moved to Birmingham in 1988 and has raised his family in the city. “I am not going anywhere. I plan to stay involved and participate and assist in maintaining Birmingham’s position as an exceptional city in which to live, work and recreate,” he said.
Part of Nickita's legacy is helping to focus on the overall pedestrian-orientation in all parts of the city; the redesign and enhancement of many public spaces including the Rouge Valley Trail and four significant parks, including Shain Park, Booth Park, Barnum Park and Kenning Park; helping to create and develop the city Multi-modal Plan and Complete Streets policy to improve street design with the focus on increased safety and walkability for pedestrians, adding bike paths, to benefit neighborhoods and quality of life throughout the city; creating and implementing the bistro ordinance in the downtown and commercial districts; planning, rethinking and establishing three critical commercial areas – Downtown, the Rail District and the Triangle District to become mixed-use assets for the community; helping lead the city through exceptional challenges including the Great Recession and the Covid-19 pandemic while maintaining all city employees, without cutting city services; and reducing city taxes most years.
There are three open seats in this November's city commission election. Commissioner Stuart Sherman has also announced his retirement; commissioner Rackeline Hoff, who has been on the commission for 20 years, could not be reached for her decision.
Permit applications must be returned to the city clerk's office no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, in order to run for one of the open seats in November.
As of today, two residents – Stephen Konja and Michael Lossian – have filed petitions for the city commission spots and several other potential candidates have expressed an interest and are preparing filing papers to run for the commission.