Dr. Joseph Callahan to resign Ward 5 post on City Council

Dr. Joseph Callahan will resign his Ward 5 post on the Bartlesville City Council effective Nov. 30, Callahan said in a letter issued to the council recently.

Callahan, who has served on the City Council since March 2016, has accepted an employment opportunity elsewhere, requiring relocation.

“Although I am happy to have found a position that will further progress my professional career, it is with sadness that I must resign from my seat as Ward 5 City Council member effective November 30 due to relocation,” Callahan said in a letter to Mayor Dale Copeland and the remaining City Council members on Oct. 31.

Callahan, who is the former director of Phillips 66 Fitness Services, was appointed to fulfill an unexpired term for the Ward 4 seat in March 2016. He was unopposed in his election bid for the Ward 5 seat later that year. (Callahan’s seat changed from Ward 4 to Ward 5 when ward boundaries were redrawn to achieve a more equitable balance of ward populations, effective November 2016.)

Callahan said his service to Bartlesville has been “an honor and a privilege,” and he urged the community to continue focusing on maintaining a “high quality of life.”

“Serving the citizens of Bartlesville since being appointed to the City Council in March of 2016 has been an honor and a privilege,” he said. “Bartlesville is a community that anyone would be happy to call home. I have witnessed tremendous growth in retail during my time on the council due to foresight and creative thinking — a trend that I hope continues for years to come. I am also hopeful that future council members, city staff and engaged community members remain focused on maintaining a high quality

of life for current and future Bartians through efforts of increasing recreational opportunities, maintaining a tremendous education sector and exploring ways to diversify industries and employers.

“Bartlesville is fortunate to have the leadership and commitment of several citizens that truly care about making Bartlesville a great place to live. From the first-class city staff, to the volunteers on city boards and committees, I can say without hesitation that all parties are fully vested in serving the citizens of Bartlesville. Bartlesville has provided some amazing memories for Jennifer and I, and it will hold a very special place in our hearts.”

Callahan will be missed on the council, Copeland said.

“We congratulate Dr. Callahan on his new position and offer him and Jennifer our best wishes for this terrific new opportunity. It has been a privilege to work with him on the City Council. I’ve come to depend on his insight and thoughtful consideration in our deliberations,” Copeland said. “Although we hate to lose Joseph, I understand this move is the best thing for his career. I feel confident we will hear more great things about Dr. Callahan in the years to come.”

“I know I speak for all City staff in saying we will miss Dr. Callahan, and that we appreciate his service to our community and the City Council,” said Administrative Services Director/CFO Mike Bailey. “Dr. Callahan has become an important voice on the City Council, and he and his wife, Jennifer, have become vital members of our community. They will both be missed.”

Seats for all sitting City Council members, including Callahan, are subject to re-election in November 2018. The council will appoint someone to fulfill the unexpired Ward 5 term until the election.

To be eligible for the appointment, applicants must be a resident of Ward 5 for at least six months prior to the appointment, have no felony convictions, be at least 25 years of age and hold no other position in the city government by appointment of the city manager or public office which would constitute a conflict of interest. Ward 5 boundaries include northern Bartlesville east of Washington Boulevard and north of Ohio Street, and east of Madison Boulevard from Nowata Road to the northern and eastern city limits. For more information, see City Ward Maps and Ward 5 Map.

Anyone interested in being appointed to represent Ward 5 for the remainder of the current term should submit a resume and letter of interest to the city manager’s office, located on the second floor of City Hall, 401 S. Johnstone Ave. Resumes may also be emailed to rebanes@cityofbartlesville.org. City Council members work on a “volunteer” basis, receiving only a modest monthly stipend ($10 per meeting, up to $40 per month) in attendance fees.

Resumes/letters will be accepted through Dec. 15. The council is expected to vote to appoint a temporary representative during its regularly scheduled meeting in February.