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Blackfoot mayor looks to retirement

Mayor Virtue nears end of term

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - It's nearly the end of Mayor Mike Virtue's service for Blackfoot.

"I had my day eight years ago," said Virtue on Tuesday, which was Election Day.

"What I learned mostly about and the things I have enjoyed the most are people, because life is all about people," said Virtue.

So what is it like leading all those people?

"It's just life in general at a macrocosm," he said. "At home, your dishwasher goes out. Here, the breach in the sewer line causes you different kinds of problems."

He is prepared to help the new mayor.

"I really want to be involved, whoever becomes the next mayor," he said. "I will offer my services both in transition between this administration and the next one, and maybe some volunteer activities as well."

That warm spirit and passion for making the city all it can be is just part of who Virtue's character.

"I haven't changed since I got here. At least I hope I haven't. I wont change when I leave. I'll be the same person. Titles come and go. My name is still Mike. It was Mike when I got here, it's Mike now, it will be Mike after."

That means driving the same car for over 40 years -- a 1970s Beetle, something he jokes that he wants in his picture when it is added to the wall of mayors.

He is looking forward to driving his bug home and enjoying retirement.

"Do a little reading, maybe some things I haven't had time to do much, maybe a little golfing," he said. "City employees get a discount at the golf course. I have played there two times this year. Maybe I'll go three or four times in the future.

Virtue will serve until January 2014.

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