Why Parker Agelasto is resigning from Richmond City Council

Parker Agelasto

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond City Councilman Parker Agelasto announced his resignation Tuesday after lawsuits regarding his decision to move out of the district he represented.

The 5th District councilman made the announcement in an email newsletter to constituents.

“I have been the target of several legal actions due to my recent relocation to accommodate my expanding family,” Agelasto wrote. “I have always had to balance my governmental life with my personal life and the prospect of expensive legal actions against me, balanced with the fact that I am not seeking re-election, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to continue serving as your representative.”

Agelasto, who was first elected as 5th District councilman in 2012, says his arrival at the decision has “been exceptionally difficult.”

Agelasto says his resignation will be effective November 30, 2019, with effectively, a full year remaining in his four-year term.

Last November, Agelasto announced he would not seek re-election once his remaining two years on City Council were up. He cited his desire to focus on family life. He later confirmed that he moved out of the 5th District and into a new home in the 1st District.

The move came under fire from colleagues and even legal challenges from two former council members.

The 5th District is known as the Richmond Central District and encompasses neighborhood both north and south of the James River from Main Street to Hull Street.

Here’s Agelasto’s full letter to his constituents:

Dear Neighbors:

I have been honored to represent you as your City Council representative at City Hall and in your neighborhood for more than 6 years. It has not always been easy but I have faithfully tried to serve your interests, and the City’s broader interests, in every decision I have made on your behalf. I have never shied away from doing the hard work, asking the tough questions, and insisting that the City follow or adopt best practices at all levels – and occasionally, even asking the Administration to follow its own policies.

From helping to start a welding program for ex-offenders in order to make bike racks and gain important skills in a high-paying industry to ensuring that our vulnerable populations such as youth, seniors, housing insecure, and underemployed receive the care and attention they deserve, I have acted in a manner that demonstrates my core value to help others in need. This is particularly true for public education. Whether to “ban-the-box” on employment applications or to grant equal benefits to same-sex marriages, I am proud to have advanced many socially progressive causes in Richmond while maintaining a keen eye on fiscal prudence.

In recent months, however, I have been the target of several legal actions due to my recent relocation to accommodate my expanding family. I have always had to balance my governmental life with my personal life and the prospect of expensive legal actions against me, balanced with the fact that I am not seeking re-election, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to continue serving as your representative.

Therefore, effective November 30, 2019, I will resign and vacate my seat on City Council with, effectively, a full year remaining in my four year term. My arrival at this decision has been exceptionally difficult.

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