With a nine-month countdown to the municipal elections, there is a lot of political activity going on, but the key question remains whether Mayor Nir Barkat is running for another term.In an interview with In Jerusalem last November, Barkat said he would announce his plans by the end of the year. More than a month has elapsed since that deadline, but Barkat still hasn’t disclosed his intentions. A source close to him said this week that he believes that Barkat hasn’t decided yet. This may be true; Barkat recently said that right after the city’s 2018 budget is approved, he will take a week of vacation with his wife – the first in a long time – and make a decision away from the daily turmoil of his duties here.On the national level, Barkat is an asset for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is not corrupt (a rare quality these days in the political arena) and he is considered loyal to Netanyahu, unlike some of the ministers who are eager to replace him.