After barely four months in office, young newcomer Hayley Delle announced she will resign from the Newberg City Council effective next week.
Delle explained that recent and sudden changes in her life have drastically reduced the amount of time she can devote to the council – primarily that she and her partner became guardians of his two younger siblings about a month ago.
"So we went from really having no commitments to suddenly being responsible for two teenagers … My life kind of took a huge turn very suddenly," she said. "If I'd known eight months ago what my life was going to look like right now I probably never would have run for council."
The City Council voted May 2 to accept Delle's resignation, which will become effective after the next council meeting May 15.
Delle joined the council Jan. 3 after running unopposed in November for the District 1 seat, representing the area around downtown Newberg. Taking office at age 23, she is youngest councilor in recent memory and perhaps the youngest in Newberg's history.
Delle moved to Newberg from the Newport area five years ago to attend college. She attended and graduated from George Fox University with a degree in interior design. Since then she's gone from working as a marketing manager and graphic designer, to working in the wine industry, to working at Social Goods Market in downtown Newberg, and back to the wine industry.
Reflecting on the past four months in office, Delle explained that the job is a much bigger time commitment than she expected and that a councilor must have the time to "live and breathe city business," a commitment that many in her generation cannot make.
"Certainly if my life looked differently right now, I'd stick around," she said. "I think it's been a valuable experience and I would love to see someone similar to myself step in and fill that position, but I know that's a lot to ask for."
Mayor Bob Andrews introduced Delle's resignation at the May 2 meeting and moved that the council accept it "with regret (and) with trepidation."
"We want to wish you the best in your endeavor and new responsibilities," said Councilor Stephen McKinney. "We'll be thinking about and praying for your children."
The council will appoint someone new to fill Delle's seat and city has put out a call for applicants for the position. Applications are due by June 2 and more information for prospective candidates is available at www.newbergoregon.gov/citycouncil/page/run-council-position.
Asked for what advice she'd give to her successor, Delle emphasized that the next councilor should be ready to devote a lot of time to engage with the community, the council and staff, though all of them are ready to help.
"Understand that it takes a lot of time and it's not really for the faint of heart," she said. "It takes kind of a strong person to stick by what they believe and what they want to really, truly make a difference … so, don't be timid."