Chynoweth resigns from Urbana City Council for ‘travel and professional commitments’

By Eric Heisig

The resignation of Ward 2 Council member Danielle Chynoweth was announced during Monday’s meeting of the Urbana City Council. In a letter read by Mayor Laurel Prussing, Chynoweth said “with greatly increased travel and professional commitments, I will not be in a position to adequately serve Ward 2 residents.” Chynoweth was not present at the meeting.

The letter goes on to say that with her business, OJC Technologies, she is going to be the development director for famous physician Patch Adams.

“The new role will require me to travel extensively in the next year as we gather support to build a Health Care Teaching Center and Free Clinic in West Virginia,” Chynoweth said in the letter.

Following the meeting, Prussing expressed commented on Chynoweth’s work on the Council.

“She will be missed, but she has a great opportunity in front of her,” Prussing said. “She has done some good work though, always thoughtful and hardworking.”

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Ward 5 Council member Dennis Roberts said he was “surprised and saddened” when he received Chynoweth’s e-mail, and that he has learned a lot from her.

“I learned a model on how to begin with things from the bottom, with grass roots, instead of the top, with my brain,” Roberts said. “It has been an honor to work with her.”

In the letter, Chynoweth went on to list some of the highlights of what she has accomplished while serving on the Council, including the new Public Arts Program, which has been on the Coucil’s plate for some time in 2008.

During the meeting, acting city attorney Ronald O’Neal explained that the mayor has 60 days to appoint an eligible candidate to the vacated position. The Council then has 30 days to act upon the appointment, which includes accepting or rejecting it. The position will then be up for election in the general election on April 7, 2009. Mayor Prussing said she will be accepting applications for the position. Applicants are required to have lived in the city of Urbana and Ward 2 for at least one year.

Chynoweth has served on the Urbana City Council for seven years.