Park resigns city council seat

A member of Warren City Council has resigned due to residency requirements.

In a resignation letter addressed to Mayor Mark Phillips, City Manager Nancy Freenock and city council on Friday, Chris Park wrote, “I am writing to inform you that I have recently purchased a home just outside the Warren city limits and, therefore, according to the Home Rule Charter and Third Class City Code, I must tender my resignation from Warren City Council effective immediately.”

“We are sorry to see him go,” Freenock said on Friday. “He was an asset to council.”

“I have enjoyed serving the City of Warren on both city council and as a member of the planning commission,” Park wrote. “While I am proud of much that we have accomplished, there is still a great deal of work to be done, and I regret leaving with so much yet to be completed.”

When reflecting on what has been accomplished, Park said, “On the planning commission, I am quite proud to have been a part of the group that began looking at blighted properties.”

While on council, “I would have to point to Streetscape as a proud moment,” he said. “Though the process took much longer that anyone expected, and there were many bumps along the way, I believe we now have a downtown center we can all be proud of.”

Park also expressed optimism about the future of Liberty Street.

“I am truly hopeful that the redesign of Liberty Street between Second and Third streets can soon be realized,” he said. “I would like to see the City and downtown merchants continue to work together with the goal of a vibrant downtown that is a destination for both city and county residents, as well as visitors and tourists.”

While the future appears bright, challenges remain.

“Obviously, the budget is the largest challenge facing the city over the coming months and years,” Park said. “As costs of provided services continue to rise, revenues shrink as the tax base get smaller. I’ve heard a lot of talk about regionalization, and I think there is a need for the City and other municipalities in the county, along with the County Commissioners, to start working together with cost-savings in mind.”

In his resignation letter, Park added, “It has been a pleasure working with all of you, along with the numerous City employees I’ve had the opportunity of getting to know over the past several years. It is our staff in the Police and Fire departments, DPW, Sewage Treatment Plant and Municipal Officers that make Warren the wonderful city it is, and makes the job as Councilman extremely rewarding. I wish each and every one of you the best of luck, and know that I am leaving our City in good hands.”