I regretfully submit my resignation as Commissioner of the City of Marquette. Over the past several weeks, my mental health has been severely impacted during inevitable divisions within our community.
I am attune to the gravity of my decision. This has been extraordinarily difficult for me and my family. I now must accept my emotional limitations and recognize they have been exceeded. They are unlikely to improve with time as a public official, and I have been forced to reconsider the leadership role I play in my beloved community.
I know this may come as a shock to citizens. If I have let anyone down by rescinding my seat just six months into my term, please accept my most sincere apologizes. I genuinely thought I could handle the consequences of speaking up for change in the community. Never did I think I would resign at the first significant sign of political and personal adversity.
l, too, am incredibly disappointed in my inability to withstand it. My torment has been private, but real and debilitating.
I hope citizens agree the circumstances were distinct and unpredictable. I am disheartened the debate over our high school nickname became so personal and so divisive. I hope the Board of Education makes a decision for the betterment of our community, however they see fit. I stand by my position on this issue, but I do not wish any further fraction in Marquette because of my service.
Although individuals have privately attempted to deteriorate my self-esteem and publicly vilifed my reputation, I do not blame my decension on any collective group or organized efforts to recall me. As I passionately do my best with the knowledge bestowed upon me, citizens are doing what-they-believe best for representative democracy. I humbly resign under my own accord with the hope it can somehow unify citizens.
I wanted to serve my community and do big good things for the love of Marquette. I took a very different approach than my predecessors, and although I firmly believe there’s a role for passionate activism in government, for me, it is no longer as a member of this Commission. I recognize my methods of advocacy could have been more politically astute.
I hope to have a long career advocating for political causes in a different capacity. For the foreseeable future, amidst this significant cultural debate, I do not have the mental or emotional fortitude to continue service. Maintaining my health must be my first priority. Spending the next year into a possible recall election defending a non-City issue–and myself–is not productive for my personal stability or the business of the City of Marquette.
I extend my deep heartfelt appreciation and apologies to my strongest supporters and volunteers. I am eternally grateful for your support. Thank you for helping me accomplish what we have. You are the change.
I take full responsibility for my leadership role in the Redmen/Redette conversation. Although I vehemently maintain my position on the issue, it is apparent my office and title made my communication methods uncondusive to positive public discourse. If I miscommunicated about this issue, my intentions were earnest. I had always told the truth as best I knew it, and I value ethics and transparency. I admittedly made mistakes, as I am invariably imperfect.
Consequently, my life and family have been disturbed and distracted to an extent that I no longer feel I can play a proficient role in my government. In addition, the distraction has taken a significant toll on my personal, acedemic, work and home life.
I do not wish to cast blame or entice further conflict with any group for my resignation. I understand and appreciate citizens’ rights to hold their government officials accountable. I never envisioned things would escalate as they have, and I apologize for any role I played in that.
For however short, serving Marquette was truly the honor of my life. I was dedicated to being a great commissioner, but reaction to my passion for a solitary outside issue has taken precedence–and would continue to take precedence–over my ability to govern. I now must concentrate on being a better employee, a better student, a better fiancé, and a better community advocate.
If you voted for me, please understand I never intended to disappoint you. I wholeheartedly intended to serve two terms and push policy in which I fundamentally believe. I never anticipated anything like this.
I have always understood my role on Commission was to advocate for progressive values, and I’m not permanently retreating, but I am confident my former colleagues will fill my vacancy accordingly. The City is in good hands under the direction of Mayor Smith and Manager Angeli.
I now need to focus exclusively on sustaining the wellbeing and stability of myself for my family and my future.
Please don’t let my resignation further divide our community. I truly believe this is for the best. Let’s use this as a teaching moment for both sides to start a new, more positive dialogue sans personal attacks.
I appreciate privacy at this time, and I apologize for any confusion or chaos my resignation may bring to the functions of the City. I know Marquette will eventually survive these external and internal qualms and we will all be better because the conversation took place.
With profound gratitude, I am humbly yours,