City of Annapolis Alderman Richard E. Israel announced this week that he's resigning from the City Council, effective immediately.
Israel told the council he's moving out of his Shaw Street home into the Ginger Cove Community, a community in Annapolis that's not in the ward he was elected to represent. He said he's resigning now, rather than when he moves in May, so that his successor will be able to participate in upcoming city budget deliberations.
Israel, who represented the city's First Ward, thanked his colleagues on the council, and also, "the voters of the First Ward for twice entrusting me with this office. It is indeed an honor and privilege to represent the community where I have lived for almost 38 years."
Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen called Israel a "consummate legislator," and said "I will miss his decency, his sense of humor, his passion for our community and his warm spirit."
According to City Code, when an alderman resigns within 15 months of the next regular city election, the Central Committee of his or her political party appoints a replacement. Cohen said he has notified the county's Democratic Central Committee of Israel's resignation, and that body will have five days to schedule a public hearing where the central committee will interview applicants and vote on a replacement.
The mayor will swear in a newly appointed alderman at the next City Council meeting.
In his eight-year career as an alderman, Israel served as chair of its Finance Committee and Rules and City Government Committee.
Israel introduced bills establishing a citywide Heritage Commission and a Blue Ribbon Commission on city finances. The council approved his Adequate Public Facilities legislation, a bond fund and the Citizens Committee to Review Alcoholic Beverage Laws.
"Not only have we come to rely on Alderman Israel's knowledge of the city's laws and regulations, but we have come to depend on his overall approach to civility," said Ward Six Alderman Kenneth A. Kirby in a statement. "While he will be missed greatly by all of us on City Council, he will be missed even more by the constituency he served."
Individuals wishing to write to Israel can go to http://bit.ly/YfcrcA and leave a message.