District 3 City Councilor Ashley Hill resigned Wednesday to focus on regaining her health after a lengthy illness.
Hill’s resignation, effective immediately, means District 3 will have two new council members after Town Meeting Day. The other incumbent, Glen Coburn Hutcheson, announced recently that he would not seek a second term in March.
Hill’s term expires in 2021 and the city charter requires that a new council member be elected at the next annual meeting, which is March 3, 2020, to serve out Hill’s term. The charter also indicates that the City Council appoint an interim replacement to serve until Town Meeting Day, but it is unclear how soon that might be.
Hill was first elected in 2017 and reelected in 2019. She has been a strong advocate for low-income residents and has been a minority voice, at times, in opposing budget increases.
“At this juncture in my life, I need to focus on regrouping and focusing on my own overall health so that I am able to continue my advocacy work in the long term,” Hill wrote in a letter to the council and her constituents.
Hill issued a tearful farewell at the end of Wednesday’s Council meeting, after which her fellow members and Mayor Anne Watson praised her contributions to the city.
As it stands, four City Council seats will be up for grabs on Town Meeting Day as well as the mayor’s seat, which Watson has announced she plans to seek again. Incumbents Dona Bate in District 1 and Conor Casey in District 2 also plan to seek reelection.
Following is Hill’s resignation letter:
Fellow Councilors, City Staff, District 3 residents, and all Montpelier constituents,
I write to you all today to announce my resignation from the Montpelier City Council as District 3 Councilor effective at the close of tonight’s meeting. As a community leader, I believe it is not only my duty, but my obligation to be candid with myself, my constituents, and my community.
As I reflect on the myriad of complex and incredibly challenging personal, professional, and life circumstances and shifts in my own life as of late, I find my mind continually coming back to the importance of making time and space for self-care in the healing and rebuilding process. Despite my dogged determination to be my best self in all that I do, I realize now that my life looks very different than it did a year ago. The hardest part of this time of reflection for me has been the realization that in order for me to keep doing everything that I do and doing it with the care, love, and integrity I pride myself on taking in my service of others, I would not be able to make self-care and healing a priority. At this juncture in my life, I need to focus on regrouping and focusing on my own overall health so that I am able to continue my advocacy work in the long term.
Seeing the many amazing opportunities and possibilities that are coming together for Montpelier and that have come together for Montpelier since I joined the council is one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I am proud of the resilience, commitment, and dedication I’ve observed from community members, city officials, and city staff in Montpelier over the past almost three years.