WEST MILTON — At a special meeting held Tuesday night, the mayor of West Milton resigned, saying he wanted to devote more time to his family.
Mayor Fred Francis called a special meeting to announce his decision to step down, as well as to swear in the new mayor, former vice mayor Scott Fogle.
“This was the hardest decision,” he said, thanking council and the community for allowing him to serve.
His resignation created a vacant seat on council, which will be filled by appointment. The village will take applications for the seat until their Oct. 11 meeting, when a new council member will be selected.
“My family time suffered,” Francis said. “I’ve got four kids. It just came down to one of those decisions where I love this, but I love my kids and there have been a lot of nights where I’m coming from work straight here and by the time I make it home it’s 11 p.m.”
Francis denied that his decision to step down was related to an incident involving his wife that occurred during a meeting with Milton-Union Recreation Association members earlier this summer. According to police reports, the meeting concerned $250 missing from one of the association’s funds. Stephanie Francis was involved in a verbal argument with another citizen and both were charged with disorderly conduct due to the “turbulent behavior and obscenities” exchanged during the confrontation.
“It was a heated moment on a long day,” Francis said. “People make mistakes.”
Francis stressed that his decision was solely based on his desire to spend more time with his family.
“People say it’s only two weeks a month, but it’s a lot of phone calls and updates,” he said. “I love it … but my family time suffered because of that.”
He added that he understands the position this puts council in, but said that the community deserves a mayor who can fully focus on them.
For more information about applying for the vacant council position, contact the village office at (937) 698-1500.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.