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Sparkman resigns from Langley City Council

Russell Sparkman has resigned from the Langley City Council.

The resignation was effective immediately.

Sparkman, who was appointed to the council in early 2008 and elected to Position 2 on the council in November 2009, said he needed to spend more time with his family and on his business. Sparkman is the owner of Fusionspark Media, a new media communications firm located in Langley.

Sparkman dropped off a resignation letter at city hall on Monday.

"I would like to emphasize that this is a decision based upon personal and business commitments," Sparkman said in a post on the langleyelecteds.org website Tuesday morning.

"Unfortunately, the timing isn’t good, given the issues the city is currently facing," he added. "To this point, I’d like to emphasize that my resignation is not to be interpreted as a vote of no confidence in the administration, city council or staff."

Langley has been embroiled in controversy in recent months over Mayor Paul Samuelson's pay and other finance issues. State officials announced earlier this month they would conduct an audit of Langley a year ahead of schedule because of the number of complaints made to the state auditor's fraud and abuse hotline.

"This decision, one of the most difficult of my adult life, is the culmination of discussions with my wife, my teenagers and my business partners and associates that began in the spring of this year," Sparkman said in his resignation letter.

"The demands of both family life and business commitments today are very different from what they were just one year ago. They both require my undivided attention at this stage of my life, so this is where my attention to priorities must be directed," he continued.

Sparkman also praised the mayor in his departure letter.

"This is not a decision that comes easily, particularly at this point in time. Given the issues that we’ve been dealing with in city government it’s predictable that the local media will frame this as exiting when City Hall is in the midst of 'controversy.' To this point I emphatically state: Let no one interpret my resignation as a lack of confidence of your administration, the sitting City Council, or your staff. Period," Sparkman wrote. "To the contrary, I strongly praise and support the leadership that you have shown during the past three years."

Sparkman's announcement and resignation letter can be found here.

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