Harper Woods council member steps down

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published November 21, 2018



HARPER WOODS — At the Harper Woods City Council meeting Nov. 19, 20-year council veteran Hugh Marshall formally submitted his resignation from the council.

The resignation came after Marshall moved out of Harper Woods for what he described as personal reasons. He sent a letter to the council to formally resign and to thank the members for providing him with a positive experience serving with the body.

“It is with sadness and a heavy heart that I have to tender my resignation from the Harper Woods City Council,” Marshall wrote in the letter to the council. “I want to stress that we are leaving the city for personal reasons and in no way is our decision indicative of our displeasure with the city. … The city of Harper Woods has been and remains a great city and I see great things ahead in the future.”

The mayor and City Council praised Marshall for his time on the council and applauded his work on behalf of the city.

“He had served with me for over 20 years on the City Council,” Harper Woods Mayor Kenneth Poynter said. “He has been an outstanding City Council member and has a great legal mind. He worked well with the other City Council members, and he will be missed.”

In his letter, Marshall said he was pleased with his time on the council and his relationship with the other council members.

“We have worked together over the years and have acted with civility and respect with each other and with our residents,” he wrote. “In today’s political climate, I believe our council is unique in that we are unified for the betterment of the city and the quality of life for our residents. There have been no personal agendas or self-serving motives by any of the councilpersons or the mayor in my over 20 years of public service.”

A special City Council meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, to interview potential replacements to occupy the now vacant City Council seat. The meeting will be open to the public, and any resident who is a qualified elector under state law, who has a primary residence within Harper Woods, who has resided in the city for two years prior to Dec. 10, 2018, and who is not in default to the city of Harper Woods is eligible for the position.

“Whoever the City Council selects will finish this year in Mr. Marshall’s seat and then would have to run for the remainder of his term in the general election next November,” explained Harper Woods City Clerk Leslie Frank. “That would be a term expiring in 2021.”

Those wishing to apply for Marshall’s seat must register with the Harper Woods City Clerk’s Office by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Each applicant will get five minutes to introduce themselves to the council and the community at the Dec. 10 meeting. The City Clerk’s Office can be reached by calling (313) 343-2510.

“They must submit a letter of interest with the pertinent information on it, such as name, phone number and address, and explain why they are interested in the position,” Frank said. “We’re looking for those who are civic-minded and interested in moving the city forward and keeping this a great community.”

The council said that whoever gets Marshall’s former position will have some big shoes to fill.

“(Marshall) did an excellent job in his time here, and he always loved, and continues to love, Harper Woods,” remarked Poynter. “We’re going to miss having him on the council with us.”