Mayor, mayor pro tem speak on councilman’s resignation

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 14, 2018

BERKLEY — In the time since the announcement of Alan Kideckel’s resignation from the City Council, the other council members have been relatively mum on the subject.

Other than announcing the plans for replacing their former council colleague, the other members made no comment on Kideckel’s departure during the Feb. 5 council meeting.

Kideckel submitted his resignation Jan. 29, which the council accepted Feb. 5, after his alleged involvement in a Jan. 1 hit-and-run accident became public knowledge.

When asked by the Woodward Talk about when he learned of the incident, Mayor Dan Terbrack said he heard about the accident before it became known on Jan. 26. Though he doesn’t remember when, he said he didn’t know the exact circumstances of what happened until they came out.

“The most important thing for us was to make sure that this did not become a distraction for the city — a lightning rod — and ultimately we had to be able to move on,” he said. “As soon as Alan sent in his letter of resignation, we knew that we were going to be able to do that relatively swiftly with the meeting coming up (Feb. 5).”

Terbrack said he did not talk with Kideckel about what had happened or about resigning before he actually did resign. 

“He made the decision that he made,” he said. “Now, had he not made that decision, then that’s something that council would’ve discussed at (the Feb. 5) meeting, and if there was something that we maybe would’ve had to do to bring a resolution to it, we would’ve talked about it then.”

Steve Baker, in his role as mayor pro tem, said he was informed about the accident a few days after it happened. He said he was vaguely aware that an incident had occurred, but made no contact with Kideckel about it.

“Since this was a private matter for Mr. Kideckel to work through with the justice system, it was incumbent upon him to make the proper notifications as appropriate,” he said, referring to informing the council and public.

Baker said his former colleague made his choice in the best interest of the city in resigning.

“I feel it was an appropriate decision,” he said. “As elected officials, we should bring our very best to represent the community as well as we possibly can. And, as such, I think he made the right decision to step down so the city can move forward.”

Terbrack said he feels the city is on the right path now with the council appointing someone new to the open seat on the board.

“I’ve known Alan for a long time, and Alan is incredibly passionate about the city of Berkley, but he made a mistake, a very major error in judgment, and that was going to be very difficult for the residents to put their faith in,” he said. “We’re elected to make decisions that we think are in the best interests of the residents. That’s how we get elected, and if the residents don’t have that trust, that maybe we’re going to do what’s in their best interest, it becomes very difficult to govern effectively.”