Shan Ash resigned as Cleveland mayor on Monday, Dec. 30.
In his resignation letter, Ash said it had been an honor to serve as mayor, but he would be stepping down from the post effective immediately due to “unforeseen recent events.” In providing a copy of the letter to the White County News just before press deadline, Ash declined additional comment.
“Much has been accomplished in the past four years. It is my hope that my civic service will have a positive impact for years to come for our community,” said Ash in his letter “It has been a privilege to lead the City of Cleveland employees who are outstanding and dedicated to making our town a better place. I am deeply grateful for their commitment to Cleveland.”
Ash wrote he looked forward to the city’s future “with optimism” and would offer his assistance until there is a new mayor.
“I will continue to be dedicated to the community,” Ash said. “Thank you, citizens of Cleveland, for the opportunity to serve you for the past four years and represent the beautiful ‘City of Mountain Breezes.’”
Ash was wrapping up his first term as mayor, having taken office in 2016. He was set to begin another term in January after running unopposed in this year’s municipal election.
Ash, along with Cleveland City Council members Annie Sutton and Nan Bowen were to be sworn in for new terms at a called council meeting scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30.
Councilwoman Annie Sutton was approved as the 2020 mayor pro tem, which serves in the absence of the mayor, at the meeting on Dec. 30. The council typically selects someone for this position in January each year.
City Administrator Tom O’Bryant said Cleveland will need to hold a special election for mayor. As of press deadline, officials were looking at the city charter and consulting the city attorney on how to proceed, O’Bryant said.