Madison City Council member Mark Clear announced Wednesday he is resigning from the District 19 seat, a position he has held since 2007.
Clear said he is resigning because he has accepted a new job that will leave insufficient time to serve the city. Starting Monday, Clear will be the chief operating officer of 360 Networks, a company based in rural Dane County that develops telecommunications equipment for the hospitality industry.
“It’s going to take all of my brain power, all the time and energy that I have to do that,” Clear said about his new job. “I just didn’t see how I could do both.”
Clear urged the City Council to continue examining the role of alders in the city. If being an alder were a financially sustainable position, Clear said he would not be leaving.
“It’s a job that requires full time effort to really do well and no one can make that work without the means to do that and that’s not right,” Clear said. “It means that a lot of people are excluded.”
During his tenure, Clear served as vice president, previously called president pro tem, of the City Council from 2008 to 2010 and as president from 2010 to 2011. Looking back, Clear said restructuring the Overture Center for the Arts is one of the most rewarding outcomes of his time as alder.
"I ran because I wanted to serve the city I love," Clear said. "I've lived here my entire life and probably always will."
Clear said he will serve until the City Council appoints a successor, or Aug. 8 at the latest.
According to Madison General Ordinances, the council president oversees the application process to fill any aldermanic vacancies. The Common Council Executive Committee reviews the applications and interviews candidates before making a recommendation to the City Council for confirmation.
If the CCEC cannot agree on a candidate, it can recommend more than one or reopen the application process.
Ald. Denise DeMarb, District 16, announced her plans to resign earlier this month. She is moving out of the district she represents.
Prior to DeMarb, former alder Chris Schmidt was the last Council member to leave a term early. He stepped down from his District 11 seat in January 2016 to focus on his day job. The City Council at the time voted to appoint Tim Gruber, who held the seat prior to Schmidt, to fill the position. Arvina Martin is the current District 11 alder.
When Sue Ellingson, a former District 13 alder, resigned in March 2014, the council appointed Lucas Dailey to complete the remainder of the term. Sara Eskrich now holds the District 13 seat.