Rochester Hills City Councilwoman Jenny McCardell on Monday, December 3, announced she will be resigning her position on the city's governing board to move with her family to San Diego.
"I'm moving to San Diego, California," she told council members and the audience at her last council meeting. "It's a decision I made for my family. I'm taking employment there."
McCardell was elected in November 2017, when she beat incumbent councilman Kevin Brown by just 41 votes for the city's at-large council seat. She is an investigator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and said she recently accepted a position with the FDA in California. Her husband, Nathan, is a native of San Diego.
McCardell thanked her fellow members on city council, Rochester Hills Mayor Brian Barnett and city staff for their support. While she said, "At time's I've been pushy," she said they have all come together as a team in the end.
Council offered her best wishes on her move.
"When you came onto council, I said at the time it was a four-year journey, not a one-year sprint, but it looks you went at the right pace," Rochester Hills City Council President Mark Tisdel said. "Everyone up here puts themselves out there in the public eye and opens themselves up for rejection. As soon as you are elected, you have an immediate bond with other members. And to go after an incumbent and win is a significant feat that can't be understated."
McCardell announced on November 27 her move on social media, saying that, "It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this with all of you today: I have accepted a job with FDA in San Diego, CA with the Office of Medical Products and Tobacco Operations. The start date is December 10th, 2018. I have asked my friend and confidante, Jeff Duperon, to consider applying for my city council position which I will have to vacate. He shares my beliefs and is currently serving on a city committee, the Public Safety and infrastructure committee, and have no doubt he will serve with dignity and integrity if chosen by council."
McCardell also encouraged others to step up and apply, and said she felt proud of her time on council, albeit short.
"In my short tenure on Rochester Hills City Council, I felt that I have kept my promise to be the voice of the people," she said. "I was instrumental in starting the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. I have served many hours on various committees and boards, including the Public Safety and Infrastructure Technical Committee, the RAYA board, the RAHCC board and others. I feel good about that.
"I also feel good leaving this city with competent and passionate elected officials, including Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens and Mallory McMorrow, all of which I used my political will and passion to do my part in their elections. I believe in these women and that they will continue to make our city a better place with their leadership. This short legacy of mine in this city makes me proud. I don't feel like my work here is done, but I know competent people that have recently stepped up to lead our community will continue my passions."
Under the city's charter, city council will have 30 days to appoint a new council member to serve in McCardell's place. Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton said she received McCardell's resignation letter on Thursday, December 6, which states the resignation would be effective on Monday, December 10, her first day of employment in San Diego. Council will accept the resignation on that same day at its regularly scheduled city council meeting, and the 30-day deadline will begin on Tuesday, December 11.
McCardell's seat was to expire in November of 2021. Applicants for her seat are expected to be interviewed the week of December 17, with an appointment made by council at its January 7 city council meeting.