Ms. McKeithen told the Almanac that she had never intended to run for a fourth term, although she was unwilling to say so publicly until now. She said she is throwing her support behind candidate Denise Kupperman, with whom she's worked on various town projects, including the planning of a new library.
As of the Almanac's press time, there are four candidates: Incumbent Elizabeth Lewis, Ms. Kupperman, Cary Wiest, and Greg Conlon.
Tom Croft, Bob Roeser, and Jo-Ann Sockolov have also taken out papers, but Theresa DellaSanta, the city clerk and interim city manager, said last week that all three have indicated to her that they won't be filing their papers.
By law, the filing period is extended to all but incumbents when any incumbent whose term is up doesn't turn in candidate papers during the regular filing period, which ended Aug. 10.
Candidate papers may be picked up at Atherton Town Hall.
Time to step down
Ms. McKeithen has complained publicly about how a difficult job — serving on a town council — had been made almost intolerable because of harassment, vandalism at her home, and "abuse" by a fellow council member. But that's not her reason for stepping down.
A fourth term, she said, was never a possibility in her mind, and she feels satisfied that much of what she wanted to see accomplished has been.
An example, she said, is that the town's budget "is back on track" after facing a structural deficit of more than $800,000, projected to climb past $1 million in short order. Part of the strategy for budgetary health was the outsourcing of most public services, she said, adding that the community is "very happy with it. They think (contracted employees) are doing a better job than ever before."
Other accomplishments she cited: The hiring of City Attorney Bill Conners and Police Chief Ed Flint.
"I'd never been happy with our attorneys, not only because of cost but because of the work produced," she said. "That has changed. Costs are down ... and we've wiped a lot of litigation off our plates."
She also had been unhappy with the operation of the police department in past years, but now says, "I cannot speak highly enough of Ed Flint."