INGALLS — After less than a year running the Ingalls Town Council, Jack Stout has resigned from his position as president.
In May, Stout accepted a job at the River of Life church in Indianapolis. The job required Stout to commute back and forth from Indianapolis to Ingalls, and his church responsibilities increased until he was staying in Ingalls only once a week.
“The church doubled in size from the time we started there,” Stout said. “It got to the point where we had to make a decision.”
Stout realized he wasn’t in Ingalls enough to make decisions that would affect the town. He said he put the council on notice that he wouldn’t be able to continue in his capacity as president.
Councilman Tim Green said the council had hoped he could stay on until the end of the year. Stout said he agreed to stay through December to try to finish some projects for the town.
But Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, found out about Stout’s commute and asked him where his primary residence was. Stout told him it was Indianapolis, and Willis asked for his resignation.
Stout handed in his letter of resignation at the monthly town meeting on Oct. 28.
Since he was no longer a resident, by law he can no longer serve on the town council.
Green said Stout will be missed and very hard to replace. He and the council were counting on him to help them finalize budgets and projects before the year ended.
“We were really hoping he could stay until the end of the year,” Green said. “In my mind, I felt he was still a resident of this town.”
With the small population of Ingalls, Green said, it will be difficult to find a suitable replacement.
“He was well liked and well trusted,” Green said. “He was a great board member and a great friend.”
Stout said it was unfortunate he had to leave the council in a period of transition but said the council was well-equipped to move on without him.
“I have great confidence in them,” Stout said. “They will be able to accomplish what they have to.”
The task of filling his vacancy will fall to Willis. Because Ingalls has only one precinct, Willis gets to choose the new council member rather than the council.
Green hopes the council will get a say in the final choice even though it is ultimately Willis’ call.
“We’ve got to work with these people for the next two years,” Green said. “We want to make sure the board is an equal board.”
Willis said he has heard from three people expressing interest in the position.
He did not say when he would make a decision but has 30 days from Stout’s resignation to name a replacement. That makes Thanksgiving his deadline.
Willis said he will make an announcement before the holiday.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB or call him at 640-4847.
Ingalls vacancy Residents of Ingalls interested in the open Town Council position should contact GOP chairman Russ Willis at 643-4871. The position must be filled by Nov. 28.