Is there anything you would change about your final campaign?
"No. I don't regret the campaign we ran. I ran the same campaign all three times. It just didn't work this time. Would I have been better off running a negative campaign? I don't think so. That's not John Spring."
What will you miss most after leaving office?
"All the city workers or staff. We've got a lot of dedicated people."
What will you miss least?
"The complaining and the negativity. We had people complain about the 9-11 artifact we dedicated at City Hall. We had people complain about having a prayer at the event."
What was your biggest surprise as mayor?
"The realization that this is pretty much a 24-7 job. You can be out and have a good time, but you're always on call."
Did you miss out on anything as an officeholder?
"Family functions. I missed a lot of baseball or soccer games."
What's the funniest comment you heard?
"My first year I had finished a presentation at Baldwin School, and this little freckle-faced kid said, â€˜Mr. Mayor did you know they make hair color for people like you?' "
Any great words of encouragement?
"When I was getting treatment for prostate cancer, I was so grateful for the comments and the notes and emails. And the people at Blessing Hospital couldn't have been nicer."
What was the biggest help from outside the city?
"In the 2008 flood, Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin called up and ... sent us over 10 brand-new trucks, with drivers and a supervisor. Those are the trucks we sent over into Missouri -- loaded with sandbags -- after there were some questions whether we could send (Illinois Department of Transportation) trucks out of state."
Does one tricky problem stand out?
"The Newcomb Hotel. We have been so close with that so many times. I wasn't in office when Victor Horowitz got possession, but I know the people involved wish they could have gotten some collateral or a clause to help if the project didn't move forward."
Are there other buildings with potential?
"The Washington Theater could be a great venue. It's city-owned property. We took a tour of a theater the city of Edwardsville renovated."
Any other building issues?
"Nuisance abatement is a particular challenge. It's not as simple as just seeing something that looks bad. It involves the court system ... and lots of time and work."
What was your worst experience in office?
"This last campaign they went after me, but in a couple of campaigns they attacked my family."