There is more change coming to the City of Shelbyville’s Common Council.
Nathan Willis, a Republican representing the city’s 2nd ward, has submitted his letter of resignation.
Willis and his wife, Abby, are accepting offers to work as traveling respiratory therapists which will keep them away from the community for long periods of time.
“If we are going to do this, we have to do it now,” said Willis via phone interview Tuesday morning.
The couple has a 3-year-old son, Finn, which affords them a window of opportunity to travel before he settles into a school system.
“It was a hard decision to make,” he admitted. “We talked with our family and everyone agrees that we will never get this opportunity again.”
Working as traveling respiratory therapists requires a multiple-month commitment to a location that could be anywhere in the United States.
“Typically it is 8-to-13 weeks and sometimes longer,” said Willis, who was excited to be able to travel with his family.
Willis is currently a respiratory therapist at an Indianapolis hospital.
“I really did enjoy being on the council,” he said. “This was one of the hardest decisions. It is unfortunate.”
Willis’ council seat is the second one vacated in 2022. Tyson Conrady, a Republican representing the 5th ward, resigned his seat in March after accepting a job offer in another community.
Conrady’s replacement, Thurman Adams, has yet to attend a Common Council meeting due to health issues. Rob Nolley, president of the council, believes Adams will be in attendance at the next scheduled meeting Monday night at City Hall.
Willis said he will be in attendance at Monday’s meeting as well for what will serve as his last meeting as a council member.
The remaining members of the council are Joanne Bowen (Democrat, 1st ward), Mike Johnson (Republican, 3rd ward), Scott Furgeson (Republican, 4th ward), Brian Asher (Republican, at-large) and Rob Nolley (Republican, at-large).
Nolley, also chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, has announced a caucus with precinct committee members Monday at 4 p.m. at Shelby County Republican Headquarters, 106 E. Washington St., to vote for a candidate to replace Willis.
Any eligible candidate will need to file a declaration of candidacy with the Shelby County Election Officer 72 hours prior to the caucus date and time.