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Springfield City Councilor Marcus Williams resigns, cites remote job, new opportunities

Springfield City Councilor Marcus Williams.
Carrie Saldo
Springfield City Councilor Marcus Williams.

In the book that is Marcus Williams' life, the chapter as Springfield city councilor is over.

"While this may be a chapter that I am closing for now, this book is always one that I will keep close to me," Williams said at a news conference at Springfield City Hall Tuesday.

Williams, who serves as city council president and is the nephew of state Rep. Bud Williams, is resigning immediately — just five months after he began his fourth term on the council.

"I will never forget your unwavering confidence in me as a councilor. I will take that unyielding desire for collaboration with me in any endeavor I engage in," he said.

Williams, 33, cited a remote job as one of his reasons for leaving the council.

"My career has recently moved to a permanently virtual work environment," he said, adding that he also wants to build on his acting career, and have new experiences and opportunities.

Fellow City Councilor Zaida Govan said she only learned of Williams' resignation Tuesday morning. She said she was shocked and surprised.

"He has to make the best decision for his life and his family," she said. "However, I would have liked a little bit of a notice."

Williams was first elected to the council in 2015, beating out incumbent Clodo Concepcion.

Williams has served as council president since January of 2021. Jesse Lederman, the council's vice president, will now serve as the president.

Councilors originally believed they would be tasked with appointing a new member to represent Ward 5, who would serve until the next election in 2023. But in a statement Wednesday, Lederman said they had since learned that Gov. Charlie Baker recently signing into law a home rule petition approved by the council passed last year.

"As such, a special election will be held to fill the vacancy in the Ward 5 City Council seat in accordance with the law," Lederman said. "I know I speak for many Councilors when I say we are relieved that the people of Ward 5 will have the opportunity to choose for themselves their representative."

The special election has not yet been scheduled.

Updated: June 1, 2022 at 2:46 PM EDT
This story has been updated to reflect a statement Wednesday from Councilor Jesse Lederman, announcing that a special election to fill the vacant Ward 5 seat could proceed.
Carrie Saldo is a host and producer for New England Public Media.
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