Vatavuk will not seek another term in office

November 17, 2018

Somerset County Commissioner John Vatavuk said this term in office will be his last.

The three-term commissioner confirmed Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2019, finishing a career in public service that also included stints as a teacher and 16-year school board member. He was also chairman of the Somerset County Democratic Party.

“There comes a time in life you just know you’ve had enough,” he said.

Vatavuk said that he originally planned to stay in office until the final 5 1/2 miles of Route 219 were finished to the Maryland line.

“I think with Sen. (Pat) Stefano’s help that maybe he will be able to work with the secretary and get that finished,” he said. “That is my hope anyhow. He seems to have a really good handle on things.”

Vatavuk, who will be 70 in March, said he wants to travel and spend more time with family.

“My wife and I, we would like to travel,” he said.

“We don’t want to wait to travel until one of us has to push the other in a wheelchair. That is just not the way to go.”

Vatavuk said it was a hard decision to make.

“We talked about it for the last year,” he said, referring to himself and his wife, Janet.

“We came to a mutual agreement. I thought I might as well spend some time at home.”

Vatavuk said he does not know whether he is ready to stop working entirely.

“I may go for a part-time job,” he said.

As a commissioner, Vatavuk said he is most proud of his work supporting the USS Somerset project and the Route 219 project.

“It’s been a good run and I accomplished a lot,” he said.

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