Darryl Minchenko will not run for mayor this year. Period. He’s too busy raising money for a higher purpose—indoor mini-golf.
Minchenko, a Henry Street resident who runs D Barber Shop on Whalley Avenue, was definitive in his announcement.
So were at least four other males and one female interviewed by the Independent. Click on the play arrow to watch some of them undeclare their candidacies.
An estimated 60,000 males and at least one female are are at least “considering” considering running for mayor this year now that incumbent Mayor John DeStefano is stepping down after 20 years in office. Elected officials. Unelected officials. Government workers. Former government workers. A plumber. A fireman. You name it—their friends, their spouses, their coworkers, heck, people out on the street have given them no choice. “You should run for mayor!” the people are telling them. Who has the right to dismiss the voice of the people? So they’re weighing the pros and cons.
But not Minchenko. “I can’t run for mayor,” he explained Wednesday inside his busy shop. “It would take up too much of my time.” Minchenko, who’s 46, invented the world’s first indoor miniature golf game, he said. He went to China to get the manufacturing process started. Now he’s trying to rustle up some financial backing to take his “Soft-Toss Universal Golf” invention into the retail big leagues. Click on the play arrow to watch the back story; call him at 203-996-0452 if you know someone interested in teeing up some bucks. But don’t call that number if you’re lucking for a successor to Mayor DeStefano.
Don’t bothering calling Pete Gass, either. He did seriously consider a run, he revealed. “When all that shooting was going on, I lost a lot of friends,” said Gass, a 27-year-old plumber who until recently lived in Church Street South. “It made me feel like there was nothing being done.” He ultimately decided a campaign would involve “too much work” for now. He moved to Hamden a few months ago, He plans to move back to New Haven in the future and perhaps seek the mayor’s job then. “If you’re going to run for an area,” he reasoned, “live there.”
Lifelong Democrat John Britt, a 60-year-old retired mechanic, was on Sylvan Avenue Thursday morning waiting for a bus, not pressing the flesh. He ruled out a run categorically. He didn’t cite “family obligations” as an excuse. He cited the responsibilities that go with the job. “Not worth the headaches,” he explained.
Yale custodian Rick Pendergrass, 51, sure sounded like a candidate as he made a Walgreen’s stop. He said New Haven needs a new mayor who will focus more on creating jobs. And candidates should tell the truth about our rotten tax system, Pendergrass declared: “We have this corporate greed thing going on. We have a bunch of rich people that are keeping all the money, hiding it in the Cayman Islands, not creating jobs like they promised ... We live in a country where only the elite get paid. We have been told by the Republican Party that if we raise taxes on the job creators, they can’t create job. And yet taxes have been historically low for the years. My question is: Where are the jobs?” Despite his concern, he has never considered running for mayor, Pendergrass revealed. Never has. And he has no plans to start now. No matter who asks him. (No one has.) “I won’t run,” he declared, leaving no wiggle room.
Allen Reynolds admitted he dreamed as a kid of running for mayor. He’s 43 now, living on social security. And he has long given up on that dream. “I would settle for any position that pays decent income” except the one on the second floor of 165 Church St. Reynolds said he has found a way to do his part to try to make New Haven better: He regularly pulls weeds out of the grass in public spaces in Newhallville and Fair Haven.
It never occurred to 58-year-old certified nurse assistant Ana Dones to run for mayor. She heard a woman is considering a run this year, as well as a man with a Spanish-sounding surname. She wants to learn more—and keep out of the race herself. To do the job, she said, “you need to know what you’re going to deal with.” And some people recognize that they don’t.
Ian Applegate animated the ID-tag outro to the video at the top of the story.