Paul Bowman is stepping away from his seat on the Town Council, citing “continued harassment” against he and his family as the reason.
The announcement was made at the very end of the Town Council meeting on Feb. 11, which left much of the Council and the attending audience in shock.
“I would like to take this opportunity to let you all know that I delivered a letter to the Town Clerk’s office a short time ago as a formal notification that effective midnight tonight I’m resigning from the office of Town Council,” he said. “I find that volunteering in this community sometimes comes at a price that I and my family are no longer willing to pay. As a public official, my hands have been tied and not afforded me the ability to react and respond to defend my family’s name to hateful innuendos, conjecture and criticism. Starting tomorrow, I will now have the right to take appropriate action and hold accountable those who want to continuously and recklessly defame me in public and by social media.”
Bowman thanked his fellow members for their work over the years as well as those who have supported him throughout his time on the Council.
“I am really at a loss for words and am relatively speechless,” said Town Council Chair Rob Oris, immediately after the meeting. “I personally believe this is a huge loss for the community. I’m not 100 percent sure what lead to this. I wish it wasn’t the case. There are many of us that work really hard for this community, and I am not convinced the community truly understands the time it takes to do this job well.”
The decision to resign came to a head for Bowman after Monday night’s Planning and Zoning meeting, he explained to The Herald on Wednesday, where several members of the public expressed voiced their opposition to the project and mentioned Bowman, whose Clearview Farm Preserve development company is spearheading the project.
Bowman and his family have been a longtime fixtures in the community, and his announcement last night comes after a string of social media attacks Bowman calls “hypocritical and unfounded”.
“Quite frankly, I am sick of it,” he added. “I want to show my children and grandchildren that it is okay to stand up for yourself and defend what you believe in.”
While Bowman remains committed to public service, he is unsure about his future in local government, citing that “for me, the future and time in general is at a premium. I have choices of how I want to spend my time now.”
As of press time, there was no word on who may replace Bowman on the Council.