Mayor Virtue preparing for life after politics

Always quick with a joke, Blackfoot's outgoing mayor, Mike Virtue, claims he will "just be making a cameo appearance" at the next city council meeting.
Virtue, who has served two terms as mayor, will tie up a few loose ends at the Jan. 7 meeting; then, he'll sit back and relax as a spectator to watch Paul Loomis take the "oath of office" as the city's new mayor.
Virtue, a Blackfoot native with a business background in finance, was first elected mayor in 2005 in a runoff election against incumbent Scott Reese. He was reelected again in 2009 against friend and city councilman, the late Butch Hulse.
Although there are no term limits on how long one can serve as mayor in Blackfoot, Virtue said "he decided about two years ago that he would not seek reelection."
Virtue has thoroughly enjoyed his time as mayor, praising the business community and city employees.
"The people are what it's all about," he exclaimed. "Everything is inanimate until the tools are put in place to make things work ... and that's the people. You can't do this job alone."
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