Councilmember Richard Ford, who has served on the Portage City Council since 2013, resigned his seat effective June 30, 2020. Mr. Ford and his family are relocating outside of Portage for employment reasons.
Ford first served the City of Portage as a member of the Board of Review in 2013. As a Councilmember, he chaired the City Council Utility Rate Committee, served on the various City Council sub-committees including the Communications/Social Media Committee, and served as a member of the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health Advisory Council and Discover Kalamazoo Advisory Board. Ford is an avid supporter of Parks & Recreation and was instrumental in the creation of the South Westnedge Dog Park for the benefit of the residents and pets of the City of Portage.
Mayor Patricia M. Randall said, “Richard offered our Council a younger perspective and advances in technology reducing costs and improving services, and demonstrates the highest level of integrity and professionalism. His vision and commitment to the Council has made Portage a better place. Richard will be missed.”
“I appreciated the fresh, youthful outlook Rich had of Council responsibilities,” said City Manager Joe La Margo. “He will be missed, and we certainly wish nothing but the best for Rich and his family.”
With the resignation of Councilmember Ford effective June 30, 2020, a vacancy on the City Council for a term ending November 2021 exists. The City Charter (Chapter 3 Section 13) provides that the City Council must fill a vacancy in an elective office by appointment within sixty days of acceptance of a resignation. The City Charter further provides that the appointment will end on the first Monday following a regular city election. As such, City Council must make an appointment to fill the vacancy on or before August 29, 2020 and the appointment will expire in November 2021. The remainder of the term (two years - November 2021 to November 2023) will be filled during the general city election on November 2, 2021.
To fill the current vacancy, the City Council will receive cover letters and resumes from interested applicants through Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The City Council has set aside time immediately following the previously scheduled Board and Commission interviews on July 14 to review the cover letters and resumes and select the candidates to interview. Then on July 21, the Council will interview the selected candidates at a Special Meeting, with a final selection of the new Councilmember at the regular City Council meeting on July 28.
The deadline for interested applicants to apply is Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 5 PM. Applicants are asked to submit a cover letter and resume to the City Clerk:
By Mail to the Office of the City Clerk, Portage City Hall,7900 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
By E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “City Council Vacancy”
By Fax to (269) 324-8070
By Drop Box in the 24-hour Secure Drop Box at City Hall, “Attention City Clerk”
Applications received after Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 5 PM will not be considered. Questions concerning the City Council vacancy and selection of a new Councilmember can be addressed by calling the City Clerk at 329-4511.