During the Tuesday, May 12 Holly Village Council meeting, Village Council Member Chris Rankin submitted his resignation.
Rankin was first appointed to the Holly Village Council in April 2013 to serve the remainder of Council Member Tom Clark’s term after he resigned. Rankin ran and won his seat for another two years in November 2014. Rankin also was reelected in 2016 and 2018.
In February, Rankin’s wife, Nicole Edwards, stepped down from her volunteer roles with the Historic District Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Both are appointed positions.
Thomas McKenney, village president, said the village council will appoint a person to serve the balance of Rankin’s term, which ends Nov. 3, 2020. “I anticipate the council will appoint Mr. Rankin’s successor at the regular June meeting,” McKenney said.
When Rankin was asked why he resigned from his position, he said, "I don't know if the world really has become more polarized in their political views, or if my being involved in it and the emergence of social media platforms has just made it more apparent, but the level of rhetoric and harassment I've dealt with has definitely increased over the past year or so.
"Most people on either side of most issues seem reasonable, but the level of irrationality showing in a few people with differing opinions seems to have skyrocketed. I guess I felt like I'd had enough of that polarization, and nothing I was doing seemed to be reducing it.
"In addition to that, and more importantly, being on Council precluded my wife, Nicole Edwards, from being able to participate on any of the several boards and commissions in the Village due to some ambiguity in the Charter regarding 'appointive' positions within the Village. She was very disappointed to resign from the Historic District Commission. She tendered that resignation even though the Village attorney's interpretation of the Charter was that she wasn't required to do so. But when it was brought to light that a previous Village attorney had disqualified a previous Councilor's family member from participating, she felt that it would be best to resign to avoid the appearance of favoritism.
"It wasn't until several weeks later that I realized that I should have been the one to resign because I didn't feel that my heart was 100 percent in it any more. I felt that my level of satisfaction serving on Council was significantly less than the level of disappointment that Nicole felt having to resign.
"The residents deserve to have every member of Council putting all the effort and time necessary into their Council position, and I didn't feel I was doing that."