PORTSMOUTH – The career opportunity was just too good to pass up, but that didn’t make the decision to move his family – and leave the city he’s always known – any easier.
In a resignation letter dated September 7City council member Michael Buddemeyer has announced that he is stepping down less than a year after securing the most votes in the November 2020 election to secure a council seat.
The resignation takes effect immediately, the letter says.
Buddemeyer told the Daily News on Thursday that he was promoted from regional manager of hotel operations to vice president of hotel operations for Driftwood Hospitality Management, which operates and develops hotels in the United States and Latin America.
His office is in North Palm Beach, Florida; her new home is in Daytona Beach.
There were promotional talks before the pandemic, but when the pandemic hit Buddemeyer’s business, like so many others, was hit hard. Buddemeyer’s upward mobility did not seem feasible as the staff was small.
“I really thought (the promotion) was gone … so I ran (for city council),” he said.
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But promotion talks resumed in mid-July.
“We are in a better position now,” said Buddemeyer. “He came back around.
“It’s a huge decision to move my family and sell my 55-year-old house, a decision that required a lot of family discussion. I want to stress that it was not an easy decision but one that is the best for my family, ”Buddemeyer said in his resignation letter.
The Daily News asked Buddemeyer if it was particularly difficult to leave his new seat on the council since he was the biggest voter.
“I really appreciate the support,” he said. “It weighed on me. All these people voted for me. (But) I just couldn’t pass up a career opportunity.
According to the city charter, if a the board vacancy occurs, the remaining council members “select a qualified voter to fill the vacant position until the next regularly scheduled biennial election.”
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Council chairman Kevin Aguiar said he would accept the resignation, with regret, at Saturday’s city council meeting.
“Then it is up to the board to appoint according to the people who have expressed an interest,” said Aguiar. “The last go-around, there were only eight people who showed up for the board (so we took that into consideration as well.”
In the 2020 elections, eight candidates contested for the seven vacant city council seats. Buddemeyer was the only newcomer – although he served on the board between 2010 and 2016 – and the others were incumbents.
Outgoing president Leonard Barry Katzman was removed from the seven-seat board.
Considering Katzman was among the small pool of applicants, “I think he would probably be a strong candidate” to fill the current vacancy, Aguiar said.
“It totally depends on what we get,” but the board would likely appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term – which would be until the next election in November 2022 – during the next meetings, which would fall in October, said Aguiar. .
“I know it was not an easy decision for him,” Aguiar said of Buddemeyer’s resignation. With his service to Portsmouth, “he really put the interest of the city first”.
“It has been an honor and certainly a privilege to serve the city that I love since 2006,” Buddemeyer wrote in his resignation letter. “This is the city where I was born, where I went to school, where I raised my family and it was not a decision that I take lightly.”
He thanked his fellow councilors, “past and present”, for their support and advice, as well as the citizens for “your support, your involvement and above all, your passion for the city that we all call home”.