Regular municipal elections were held in the autumn of 1896. The party of Zheko Zhekov, lawyer at the time, took the upper hand and he became Mayor. He was the first mayor, who was born and grew up in varna. General Stolipin stayed at his house in "27th of July" street during the Liberation war.
Zheko Zhekov was elected an MP, too.
During his term in office, the development of the town followed the plan, adopted in 1879, envisaging decisive measures for the reconstruction of the whole street network. New streets were built, new land was added to the town territory, chiefly to serve the needs of the refugees. Street signs with the names of th streets and the numbers of the houses were mounted. The town gardener, Anton Novak, was charged to work out a plan for planting trees around the cathedral, a decision was taken to enlarge the Seaside garden. For the first time, in the summer of 1898, the Municipality opened a telephone service with two telephone sets - one in the Municipality building, and one in the fire brigade building. The councillors voted for the construction of a new school and for giving land to the Macedonian Society for building a Hall.
The Municipal Council, lead by Zheko Zhekov, stood in office longer that its predecessors, but not long enough to realise their whole programme.
Zheko Zhekov remained a political and public figure after Mayor's mandate. In 1911-1912 he was Province Governor.