Ashland City Councilor Traci Darrow unexpectedly announced her resignation at Monday night's council study session. “I have been looking for a new house for a while,” said Darrow, who holds City Council seat 6. “And I found one, but it’s just outside of the city limit.” Councilors have to live within city limits.
Mayor John Stromberg, joined by the rest of the council, thanked Darrow for her service.
Darrow’s announcement, effective Tuesday, came just a month after Councilor Greg Lemhouse announced his at a meeting on Feb. 6. Lemhouse cited the potential for conflict with his new position as a lobbyist on statewide issues, as well has his desire to spend more time with his family.
The resignations leave the council with only four councilors. That's still enough for a quorum, but the mayor will now be allowed to vote as the deciding vote if there’s a tie.
Darrow was appointed to the City Council in February 2017 to fill a seat left vacant when Pam Marsh was elected state representative in November 2016. Darrow beat out the runner-up, Shaun Moran, by one vote, according to the city’s meeting minutes. Darrow also succeeded Marsh as executive director of the Ashland Food Bank, where Darrow will continue to serve, in 2016.
The council is due to consider narrowing a field of seven applicants for Lemhouse's position at Tuesday night's council meeting and appoint a new councilor by March 20. Darrow, in saying the study session would be her last meeting as councilor, noted that the city attorney said she should not participate in that discussion since two of the applicants serve on the Food Bank board.
The city will have to approve a timeline which identifies an application period of at least 10 days before the council could narrow its application pool and vote to replace Darrow.
Her seat — as well as Lemhouse's — will be up for election in November.