HARMONY — President Jack Shanks resigned from council last week, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
Shanks said his wife is retiring next month and added that his three children and many grandchildren all live on the West Coast, facilitating lengthy trips for visits.
Those frequent trips were the primary factor behind his resignation, Shanks said.
“It’s unfair to the community and the borough if I were to be a half-time person,” he said. “That’s the reason behind the resignation.”
Council voted Dec. 4 to appoint member Jim Hulings as the next president, and also voted unanimously to name resident Greg Such to fill the remainder of Shanks’ term, which ends in November.
Shanks said he’s very proud of the three years he spent on council. He helped spearhead the rapid expansion of the Harmony Business Association, assisted in bringing new businesses to town and also increased the number of events that bring in tourists.
“We’ve done a good job together,” he said before relinquishing the gavel.
The former president also said he’s proud of the reinvigorated parks board in Harmony, which continues to expand its coffers by offering new events like a bluegrass festival.
Shanks recommended that Such replace him on council. He previously worked with Such on the parks board.
As the new president, Hulings said he’ll always be open and accessible to residents while also preserving the charm of the small town.
“I’m going to try to follow in Jack’s footsteps,” he said. “It won’t be easy.”
Mayor Cathy Rape also praised the outgoing council member, saying he helped Harmony weather the economic recession and even attracted new business here during it.
“You’ve provided leadership for us with honesty and guidance on many levels,” she said.
Council also elected newcomer Such to serve as vice president.