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Fountain Valley Councilman McCurdy resigns; steps toward replacement undecided

Fountain Valley Councilman McCurdy resigns; steps toward replacement undecided
Fountain Valley City Councilman Mark McCurdy announced his resignation in an email to the city manager. (File Photo)

Fountain Valley City Councilman Mark McCurdy has resigned, the city said.

McCurdy informed City Manager Rob Houston of his resignation in an email, according to a statement posted Monday on the city's website.

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"At this time, I find it necessary to secure employment outside the area, and having no other option, to effective immediately, step down from my position serving on the City Council," he wrote. "It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Fountain Valley, and for that I will always be grateful."

McCurdy, who works as an insurance broker, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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The City Council may discuss steps for replacing McCurdy during a closed session Jan. 23.

"We thank council member McCurdy for his service and commitment to this great community," the city said in its post.

McCurdy was first elected to the council in 2010. Some council colleagues in recent years have frowned on his absences at meetings about the city's strategic plan, which includes goals to help the city increase economic stability, promote business and maintain facilities.

The council has passed over McCurdy in its mayoral rotation process the past two years. In December, Michael Vo was appointed mayor, and in 2016, Vo was named mayor pro tem. McCurdy was skipped in the rotation both times.

Vo said Tuesday that he has "no quarrel" with McCurdy but said his resignation is like "abandoning his post."

"I think it's a disservice for the people that support and voted for him," Vo said. "Obviously the decision is entirely up to him, but I think he should have waited" until his term ended this fall.

In December, councilman Steve Nagel, who is now mayor pro tem, asked McCurdy if he would still not attend strategic planning meetings, and McCurdy said he would not, citing their lack of detailed minutes. He also noted that they are not televised and are held early in the morning away from City Hall.

McCurdy said last month that he felt targeted by the leadership votes.

"I feel that this happened because I simply have a different opinion," he said. "We were not elected to be a club of like-minded people, but in fact as a deliberative body. We are here to discuss things, not to all agree. So having a different philosophy, opinion or vote should not be a crime. You should not be penalized."

Nagel told McCurdy that he also had skipped other city events and that "this doesn't have anything to do with your voting record" but rather "your behavior and showing up for events."

McCurdy supporter Leston Trueblood said Tuesday that he was "ticked" to see McCurdy go.

He said voters liked that McCurdy was willing to ask incisive questions and not be in constant agreement with the rest of the council.

"He did the right thing," Trueblood said. "He would take things from a citizen's perspective."

Trueblood said he reached out to McCurdy after hearing about his resignation but hasn't heard back. He said he wasn't surprised though, saying McCurdy was hurt after last month's mayoral decision.

"I certainly don't blame Mark McCurdy for just saying 'I've had enough,'" Trueblood said.

Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD

UPDATES:

4:15 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Michael Vo and Leston Trueblood.

This article was originally published at 10:45 a.m.

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