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Aaron Hankins, a Republican holding an at-large seat on Columbus City Council, resigned Thursday afternoon.
Hankins, elected in November 2011, has held the seat since January 2012.
In a resignation email to Mayor Kristen Brown and fellow council members, Hankins said he was stepping down because he has “opportunities that will most likely take me away from Columbus.”
“It has been a distinguished honor to serve the citizens of our great city in this capacity, and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to stand for the values and principles many in our community share,” Hankins wrote in an email.
City Council President Ryan Brand said Hankins felt that the new work opportunities would not let him continue to do his job.
“I think it is always a shame when we have an elected official who has to make a decision to resign their seat on the council,” Brand said. “I know that Aaron cared a lot about that
In his 21 months on City Council, Hankins was a reliable vote against increased city spending and tax abatements. He was frequently the only council member to vote no on many measures before the panel.
“He has always been gracious and very professional,” Brown said. “I think he has always been a consistent voice for a significant segment of the community. He has always been very principled and genuinely motivated to serve the people and to do what he thinks is in their best
Last week, he voted against a proposed 2 percent pay raise for city employees. He said after the meeting that he thought the council should draw a line and cut government spending.
“I think it is ironic when we talk about giving a cost of living adjustment, simply because of inflation, when inflation is caused by government spending,” Hankins said.
Hankins could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The most recent City Council member to resign was Craig Hawes in August 2009. Hawes, a member of the National Guard, resigned after three tours of duty overseas took him away from the city.
Barb Hackman, the Bartholomew County Republican Party chairwoman, said that neither she nor the county clerk’s office had received the resignation as of Thursday afternoon. Hackman said that the resignation would have to be turned over to the county clerk’s office before it was official and the party could begin the process of appointing a replacement.
To fill the at-large City Council seat, the party chairwoman will take applications from any Republican who lives in the city limits. A caucus of precinct committee members from the precincts in the city will then be held to choose the replacement.
City Council members would be paid $7,262 a year in 2014, under the salary ordinance to be considered Tuesday for final approval.
What: Aaron Hankins resigned Thursday from the Columbus City Council at-large seat he has held since January 2012.
Next: Columbus Republicans will choose a replacement through a caucus of precinct commiteemen representing every precinct in the city limits.
Applications: Those who want to apply can contact Barb Hackman, the Bartholomew County Republican Party chairwoman at 350-5124.
Deadline: A timeline for submissions and the date of the caucus will be determined after the resignation is submitted to the county clerk’s office.
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