Effective Dec. 31, Lansdale Council Vice President Paul Clemente will end his tenure as councilman.
Clemente suddenly announced at the council action meeting Wednesday night that he has submitted his resignation.
"I will resign from Lansdale Borough Council for personal and career reasons. I've enjoyed serving our community over the last three years, and I'm privileged to have been a part of so many substantial, positive changes in our town," Clemente said. "I wish council and the borough the best of luck and continued success in the future."
Council President Matt West said he accepted the resignation Wednesday morning.
"My response to him was, 'I accept the resignation with a heavy heart.' I would like to thank you for the time, effort and energy you put into this," West said. "I really appreciate it."
Now, council must appoint someone from Ward One to fill Clemente's vacancy within 30 days from Dec. 31, 2012. The appointed resident from Ward One will serve out the remainder of Clemente's term, which ends Dec. 31, 2013.
Residents of Ward One must have lived at their current address for one year or more in order to be eligible for council, West said.
Interested residents must submit a letter outlining two items: His or her vision for Lansdale and how their involvement will help achieve that vision.
Interested residents are encouraged to submit a resume and a list of relevant experience.
Letters of interest and resumes must be submitted to Lansdale Borough Hall, 1 Vine St., Lansdale, PA 19446, in sealed envelopes by the close of business on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The envelope must be labled "Council Vacancy."
Council will appoint a resident from Ward One to fill the vacancy at the Jan. 16, 2013 business meeting.
"I want to say that all of council will have all of that information at the conclusion of that due date. We will all review it and we will make that decision together," he said. "It's not going to be an appointments committee. All of council will be involved in that decision making process."
West urged residents and councilmembers to relay the information to anyone living in Ward One who may be interested in a seat on council.
Ward One is bounded by: East Main Street from the borough line at Upper Gwynedd to N. Line Street; N. Line Street to E. Second Street; E. Second Street to Chestnut Street; Chestnut Street to E. Second Street; E. Second Street to Broad Street; Broad Street to the SEPTA tracks, to N. Cannon Avenue; Cannon Avenue to York Avenue; York Avenue to Susquehanna Avenue; Susquehanna Avenue to Whites Road.
If you vote at either Fairmount Fire Co., Penndale Middle School or North Penn YMCA, then you reside in Ward One.
Councilman Denton Burnell thanked Clemente for his time on council.
"I'm sorry I only got to work with you for a year. I need to say that you, along with several other people up here, came in several years ago and really turned this town around," Burnell said. "A lot has changed in the last few years and you've really put this town on the right track, and you've been a part of that."
Borough Manager Timi Kirchner echoed Burnell's sentiment.
"You were part of the team that brought me here, and I am grateful," she said. "I think we've become close friends throughout all of it. I have the deepest respect for your intelligence and your dedication. It's a sad day to see you go, but I know you're doing what's best for you, your family and your career. With that, I wish you all the best and don't be a stranger."
Councilman Jack Hansen told Clemente they have butted heads several times since his time on council.
"We've always had respect for one another," he said. "I have enjoyed working with you and I'm sad to see you go."
Councilman Steve Malagari, elected in the last municipal election, said he wished he could have worked with Clemente much longer.
"You've acted as a slight mentor to me at times, and I've appreciated that," Malagari said.
Councilwoman Mary Fuller said it was bittersweet for her.
"I feel like we're a team. We came in together, we campaigned together. I'm not going to leave with you though," she joked. "Thank you. And please, if I see you in the audience, I'll brief (my committee reports)."
Clemente, a Republican, was sworn in on Jan. 4, 2010. He was one of five council candidates who were endorsed by the bipartisan organization "Citizens For A Better Landale" in 2009.
All five of the endorsed candidates for council — Fuller, West, Clemente, Mike Sobel and Dan Dunigan — won seats in the election. (Three other endorsed candidates — mayoral candidate Ben Gross, District Judge candidate Ed Levine, and county Common Pleas Judge Joanna Cruz — did not win in the election).
After the meeting, Clemente would not comment on why he wasn't fulfilling the rest of his term. He also would not comment on whether or not he is remaining a borough resident.
"I'm fed up with nothing, and I can't comment further," he said. "It's for personal and career reasons. I don't care to elaborate further. I'm not doing it in protest, and I don't think anything is wrong in the town. It's quite the opposite. I'm proud to be part of a positive catalyst."
He said his council bretheren will continue down the path of great change in Lansdale.
As far as his proudest accomplishment, Clemente said there wasn't one single item.
"I've been a part of a special group of people, who really do care about this town. It's a tough job up here," he said. "We've had to make some really difficult decisions. I'm glad that things are headed in, what I believe, is the right direction."