Wow, the names keep coming since Keith Durbin announced his departure from the Metro Council yesterday. Local restaurateur extraordinaire Randy Rayburn is the latest to express interest in the District 18 seat. Allen Woods, Ross Pepper, John Ray Clemmons and Maria Salas have also been mentioned in local news stories and blogs. At this rate the only way I'll be able to decide who to vote for is waiting until the final ballot comes out so I'll have all the names.
Durbin sent a message out to constituents this morning titled "A change of direction":
It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you of a change in my status on the Metropolitan Council that will occur with the new year.
Mayor Karl Dean has offered me the position of Nashville's Director of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. After much thought and deliberation I have accepted the offer and will assume the CIO's duties on January 5, 2009. The CIO directs the strategic and day-to-day operations of the Information Technology Services Department within the Metro government.
Taking the position of CIO requires me, by Metro ordinance, to step down from my elected position as council member from district 18. I intend to do so immediately prior to my starting date as CIO. Per ordinance, there will be a special election for voters in district 18. The date for the election will be determined by the Election Commission.
In the time period between my resignation and the election of the next district 18 council member, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors will appoint an At-Large council member to cover the district for constituent services and routine zoning issues. I have requested that our neighbor in the district, Council member-at-Large Megan Barry, be assigned this role.
Please know this decision was not reached lightly. I understand the commitment to service which is expected of me by the voters of District 18. However, occasionally an opportunity comes along that provides the chance to continue serving the district, but also to elevate that service to the county as a whole. Know that Gary and I have no plans to move anywhere else (why would we want to?) and look forward to continuing service through Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors and with our next council member.
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement during both my campaign and my tenure as district 18 council member. I look forward to working with you as council member for the next month, then as an active citizen and public servant of Nashville thereafter.
I know he'll do a great job in his new gig, and I was very happy to have him as my district councilman. We've been really fortunate to have some good public servants represent us over the years - Betty Nixon, Stewart Clifton, Ginger Hausser Pepper and Durbin among them. I feel confident we'll have another fine leader to add to that list soon.