Ashland City Councilor David Chapman said he will resign his position effective Friday because of his longstanding frustration with City Council meetings.
News of the resignation came after Chapman lost his temper in an Oct. 15 City Council study session and shouted at his fellow councilors, calling them morons, and especially singled out Councilor Carol Voisin. Councilors had been discussing garbage and recycling issues.
"We spend hours and hours talking and not resolving anything," Chapman said. "I like doing stuff, not talking about stuff."
Although much of his anger on Oct. 15 was directed at Voisin, Chapman said he was angry about council meetings in general because he wants them to be more concise and productive.
For years, he has had a sporadic history of shouting at council meetings and storming out of meeting rooms.
Chapman was appointed to the City Council in 2005 to fill a vacancy, then won election in 2006.
For the 2010 election, Chapman said he waited until July of that year — just one month before the election filing deadline — to announce he would seek re-election because he kept hoping that other people would step forward to run for his seat.
No one else sought the position and Chapman was re-elected to a term that ends on Dec. 31, 2014.
"I would rather have stepped aside and let someone else do it," he said.
In retrospect, Chapman said perhaps he should have announced early on that he was not going to run, and perhaps that would have caused people to enter the race.
Beginning on Friday, the City Council will have 60 days to appoint a replacement for Chapman, said Ashland City Recorder Barbara Christensen.
That means the current City Council will choose the replacement by Dec. 25, she said.
Voisin and City Councilor Greg Lemhouse are facing challengers during the November election and could potentially be unseated.
Sitting Councilor Russ Silbiger is not seeking re-election, so a new person will fill his seat.
New councilors take office in January 2013.
Chapman said he wants the current City Council to choose his replacement because they understand the job.
And despite his frustrations, Chapman said the current council, as a whole, is the most effective he's seen in a long time.
He apologized to fellow city councilors for losing his temper.
Chapman said he has enjoyed serving on the council, solving problems and working with people in the city, but finds meetings to be counter-productive.
He said he is disappointed in himself for letting his frustration reach the boiling point in meetings.
"It tears me up," Chapman said. "I did run (for re-election.) I don't quit. I'm disappointing people who trusted me to do the job."
Chapman was a founding member of the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association and previously served on city committees that work on traffic, bicycle and pedestrian issues. His past community involvement also included working to protect air quality in the Rogue Valley.
"He's a person who stepped up to serve his community and did so for many years," said City Councilor Dennis (name corrected) Slattery. "Hopefully, he will continue to do so. I think he's made a decision that's good for himself and the city."
Mayor John Stromberg said Chapman has contributed a lot of hard work, intelligence and his unique viewpoints to Ashland.
"This is a resolution of the problem with his frustration with City Council meetings and what that has led to," Stromberg said of Chapman's resignation. "It's probably for the best. I hope he can maintain his involvement and work for the public good in other ways."
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.