Prineville City Councilor Jack Seley announced Thursday evening that he is stepping down from his city council position effective Aug. 31.
The announcement was saved until the end of the meeting at which time Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe read a letter written by Seley, who sat to her left. Seley asked her to read the address out of concern his emotions would get the best of him.
"Few citizens are privileged to be able to serve their community in this capacity," she read on his behalf. "I honor the time I have spent working and associating with the exceptional people on this council and on the city staff."
Seley noted that he has served on the council for 10 years and said that he deeply appreciates the time he spent working with his fellow councilors, past and present.
"A decades-long principle of mind is to know myself and the requirements of any position I hold and my own capacity to perform the duties of that position," Seley wrote. "Now, due to events beyond my control concerning escalating health issues, I find that I can no longer perform the duties of a Prineville city councilman and to the standard that the position requires."
According City Recorder Lisa Morgan, the non-paid volunteer position "requires attending night meetings and occasional day meetings, with regular meetings scheduled the second and fourth Tuesday of each month." The position also often requires serving on other city ad-hoc committees, permanent committees and other community committees.
"I will miss all of you," Roppe read, pausing a moment to hold back tears. "Please continue to make wise choices and may God bless and guide you."
The council meeting crowd, which was primarily comprised of city staff that evening, gave Seley a standing ovation as did the councilors and city manager and city attorney seated beside him at the front of the room.
"Thank you for all of your hard work and all of the committees you have served on," Roppe said, giving Seley a warm hug. "We always like Jack," she said to the audience, "because he is so sensible in all of his questions. He doesn't pass anything without thoroughly examining it."
Roppe also made a point of calling Seley's wife, Win, up front, noting that the councilor could not have served the council as he did for the past 10 years without her support.
"I want you to know how much we appreciate you loaning him to us for the past 10 years," she said.
City Manager Steve Forrester then publicly extended an open invitation to city hall any time he would like to visit in the future.
"We appreciate your wisdom and hope to see you in the future."
In addition, Street Supervisor Scott Smith walked up front to give Seley a hug and wish him well. He pointed out that they have taken many road trips together for various city-related functions and always enjoyed his company.
Seley's term does not conclude until Dec. 31, 2019, so the city council will be asked to appoint a new member to fill his vacancy. Morgan said that the city will take applications until Sept. 15 and that an application can be found on the city's website at the bottom of the page.
"If enough applications are received, we will have council members receive applications to review Sept. 18-20 with a possible recommendation/nomination and vote at their Sept. 26 meeting or perhaps as late as Oct. 10."