Republican City-County councillor resigns

Kent Smith
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Indianapolis - A Republican city-county councilman resigned Wednesday, choosing to remain in military service instead of politics.

Kent Smith is an active duty member of the Indiana National Guard. He's stepping down from the council because of a new military order that bars active duty members from serving in elected office.

"One of the things I told the councillors earlier is now I'm Joe Citizen. Now that I'm Joe Citizen, I'll be watching you," Smith joked at the news conference.

Smith says he's proud that he brought diversity to the council. Precinct committee members will choose a replacement for Smith.

Smith issued the following statement:

"As many of you are aware, I, Kent Smith, accepted an Active Guard Reserve position of employment with the Indiana National Guard. I have been advised of the Department of Defense Directive, prohibiting the service as an elected official while on active duty status. Although I intended to maintain the office, I have since learned that the demands of my new position, including longer hours and extensive travel might potentially restrict my ability to perform the duties and/or activities required as a City County Councilman. I have chosen to not pursue a waiver to remain on council. The citizens of the consolidated city of Indianapolis deserve council members that can devote adequate time and resources to move our county forward.

It has been the one of the greatest honors of my life to have served the citizens of Marion County in my capacities as Councilman at Large, Council Vice President, Committee Chairman, and Committee member.

I extend my thanks for the partnership I have shared with Mayor Greg Ballard. Together with the City county Council he has fostered growth and opportunity for the citizens of Marion County.

My special thanks to all the dedicated Council men and women, as well as the administrative staff, that each day has shared the mission to continually improve our city's economic out look, infrastructure and level of service to the people of Marion County.

Although, this new position is clearly a great opportunity for me and my family, it's also a move towards my military retirement. I will miss serving the people of our great city. With a humble heart, I hereby announce my resignation from my elected office of City County Council At Large effective at 6:00 p.m. on this day, February 3, 2010 in accordance with the letter sent to the Secretary of State affirming my decision.

I will still be working in a non-partisan citizen capacity wherever and whenever I can to promote positive change in Marion County. Please accept my most heart felt Thanks to the citizens of Marion County for allowing me the privilege of serving the community as City County Councilman."