David Goodell has suddenly resigned from Amherst city council and withdrawn from the November ballot.
“This is due to an illness in my family that requires my undivided attention,” he wrote in an Aug. 1 letter to council clerk Olga Sivinski.
In 2011, Goodell, a Republican, was elected to his first term on council, representing the city’s second ward. He steps down with five months remaining in his third term.
Goodell declined to comment on the record about his departure.
However, longtime Republican councilwoman Jennifer Wasilk said he cared about the people of his ward. “He was absolutely a rock solid citizen. I really appreciated his wisdom and common sense,” she said.
In sessions, Goodell was quiet. Wasilk said he “did a lot of thinking and listening. He was one of these people who was more into quality ideas instead of quantity.”
Precinct committee members will meet Wednesday night after press time to choose who will replace Goodell on the ballot this November for ward two.
Council, which had voted to recess for the month, will meet at 6:55 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 for a public hearing, followed at 7 p.m. by a meeting to formally accept Goodell’s resignation, Sivinski said.
Republican officials will likely meet Monday, Aug. 28 to name a replacement for council’s ward two seat through Dec. 31.
Wasilk said it would be highly unlikely that different people would get the nod to fill Goodell’s seat for the remainder of his term and to run in his spot on the ballot.
Goodell is not the first council member to step down ahead of schedule this election year.
In February, ward one councilman Steve Bukovac, a Democrat, resigned 10 months early to become eligible for Amherst’s new information technology director job. He was later hired to the position by mayor Mark Costilow, a Republican.
Minus Goodell, 11 candidates are in the running for council seats this fall.
Council president John Dietrich (D) will be challenged by Wasilk (R), who gave up her fourth ward seat in the bid.
David Janik (D), Joe Miller (D), and Phil Van Treuren (R) are all running uncontested for reelection to their at-large seats.
Brian Dembinski (D), who stepped in to fill Bukovac’s first ward seat, will face Bradley Lacko (R).
Angie Shubert (D) will face whomever is named Goodell’s replacement by the Republican committee members in ward two.
Chuck Winiarski (R) is unopposed in Amherst’s third ward.
Martin Heberling III (D) and Matthew Nahorn (R) will vie for Wasilk’s vacated seat in the fourth ward.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.