BELDING — Citing more time to spend with his children and family, Belding City Councilman Jon Bunce officially submitted his letter of resignation at Tuesday night’s Belding City Council meeting.
Bunce began his statement of resignation by offering a formal apology to Otisco Township resident Jeff Hunter, who was in attendance and spoke during the public comment period.
At the Nov. 20 meeting, Hunter was upset with the way Bunce had addressed him when comments between himself and Bunce grew heated on the discussion of the demolition of the Electrolux properties and clock tower. At Tuesday’s meeting, Bunce apologized.
“You were right,” Bunce said to Hunter about being unprofessional in their discussions. “Even though I stand by what I said at the last meeting, my actions were very unprofessional. I want to apologize to you and everyone who was in attendance that evening.”
Bunce then read a letter addressed to City Manager Randy DeBruine, members of council and the citizens of Belding.
“Effective following tonight’s agenda, I am (submitting) my resignation from the Belding City Council,” he read aloud. “While I have immensely enjoyed my years of service to the citizens of this community and my involvement with community affairs, I am making this decision in order to devote more time to my children and family. This has certainly not been an easy decision to make, but I wholeheartedly feel that my family needs to be my first priority at this time.
“I would like to thank each of you who have supported me during my time on city council, and please know that I will continue to stay current and involved in the affairs of this great city. Belding is where I call home, and I will certainly continue to support the viability of this city on a personal level in the future. I need to patiently pursue what I love and what makes me happy, and to get my personal compass pointing true north once again.”
Bunce was originally elected to city council in November 2007. He was defeated in his reelection bid in 2011, but was reappointed to council in March of this year with a 4-1 vote after former councilman Roger Wills resigned in February.
Councilwoman Andrea Belding said she appreciated everything Bunce had done.
“I thank you Jon for your years of service,” she said. “At times, it’s not the easiest to sit up here. I appreciate your time and passion that we’ve witnessed during your time on council.”
Mayor Ron Gunderson also thanked Bunce for his time spent on council.
“There was quite a bit of controversy at the time when he was reappointed (to council), but I thank him for coming back on board and doing his part,” Gunderson said. “We all felt the same way. I want to thank Jon for his time and being upfront with us, so this was not a surprise tonight because we have 30 days to fill this position.”
After a brief 10-minute recess, council members then went into a work session at the conclusion of council comments to discuss additional items on the agenda, including accepting Bunce’s resignation and discussing the next steps in filling Bunce’s position in the 30 days allotted, according to the city’s charter. Bunce’s term ends November 2015.
Council members voted unanimously 5-0 to accept Bunce’s resignation.