By KAITLYN NAPLES
Last week, Kevin Fuller, a Democrat serving the first city council district, handed in his resignation from the council, effective as of 5 p.m. last Wednesday.
Fuller, who was in his second term on the council and the city’s acting mayor, said he was putting his family first and resigning, “with a heavy heart,” for personal reasons.
“In short, the stress put on my family was a little too much and by stepping down that removes the stress level,” Fuller said in an email. “My family comes before all.”
Earlier this year, Fuller had announced he was running for the mayoral position, however a few weeks ago he took himself out of the race.
In a letter to Mayor Art Ward, Fuller said “It has been a honor to serve as a councilman under your terms of mayor. Not only have you been an example to follow but I consider you a friend for life.”
Fuller is a hardware specialist for the Bristol Board of Education, and also owns Dunphy’s Ice Cream shop.
Mayor Art Ward has known Fuller for about 15 years, and said he has always been “very reliable, very conscientious, and very committed to the city.”
Ward said moving forward, he will begin assigning the rest of the council to different committees that Fuller served on, to fill his seat until a new councilor is appointed.
One of the committees Fuller served on was the Mayor’s Task Force on Energy Consumption, which had “made great strides.” Ward said he hopes whoever is taking Fuller’s spot expounds on what he has already done. Last Thursday, Ward made Republican Councilor Ken Cockayne acting mayor, a position he held after Ward was hospitalized in 2010. Ward said Cockayne has “proven to effectively carry out the duties assigned to him in the position of acting mayor.”
Cockayne, who is a senior council member, said Fuller is going to be missed, and said he always had a “level head,” and always gave his full and complete thoughts on any issue brought to the council.
“Family does come first, and I completely understand his decision to resign,” Cockayne said, adding that Fuller is “a great guy and I consider him a friend.”
Moving forward, Cockayne said he hopes whoever fills Fuller’s vacant seat is able to bring the same values Fuller possesses, and hopes “we can continue down the same path.”
He added that whoever is appointed will need to be brought up to speed quickly.
Ward has been, and will be accepting resumes of interested parties, and hopes to fill the position by the May 14 council meeting. Because Fuller’s resignation came within nine months of this year’s election, the position will be an appointed one by the mayor. If it were more than nine months, there would have had to be a special election. The mayor has two weeks to fill to position, which would bring the deadline to May 15, however he said it would be ideal to make the appointment at the council meeting the day before.