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June 14, 2013

Councilman plans for resignation

HUNTSVILLE —

At-large council member James Fitch confirmed Friday he plans to resign from his seat on the Huntsville City Council next week due to professional scheduling conflicts.

Fitch became a patrol lieutenant at the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office on June 3 after serving more than four years with Sam Houston State University Police Department and eight years at the Huntsville Police Department.

The former SHSU deputy chief also might move from Huntsville for work-related reasons.

“Between the sheriff’s office being a political office and me working shift work, there’s just a chance I’d be missing way too many meetings and I couldn’t give (council) 110 percent,” Fitch said.

“I’ve enjoyed my time on council and enjoyed the experience. It was a great opportunity that was actually given to me by the citizens. I would have never had that opportunity had it not been for them electing me. So, it’s been my pleasure and my privilege actually to be able to serve the citizens of Huntsville and do the things I do. I hope I was able to accomplish things and do some things that will in the long run make Huntsville better and leave a little bit of a legacy there.”

Fitch defeated incumbent Dalene Zender in the 2010 city election and ran unopposed in 2012.

It’s unclear when Fitch’s vacated council seat will be filled.

The City Charter says council member vacancies from any cause shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at the first uniform election date, not earlier than 30 days after the vacancy occurs. Council would have to call a special election in the upcoming November election to fill the remainder of Fitch’s term, which expires November 2014.

Fitch is expected to make an official announcement at Tuesday’s council meeting.

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