FAIRFIELD BAY — In a surprise announcement made at the Fairfield Bay Community Club meeting Thursday afternoon, City of Fairfield Bay Mayor Paul Wellenberger announced he was tendering his resignation on and effective Aug. 31.

In an interview, Wellenberger said he was going to spend more time with family.

“God’s give me extra time with Cindy and I don’t want to waste it,” he said.

Mayor Wellenberger’s wife Cindy Wellenberger recently faced some health challenges and is still receiving therapy.

“She was supposed to be gone in May,” Wellenberger said.

Wellenberger’s term was due to expire in 2022.

Wellenberger stated he was satisfied with his work with the city, including the completion of projects such as the inclusion of a hotel with the city’s conference center. The day after his announcement, the State of Arkansas announced its first Rural Connect Grant being awarded to Fairfield Bay, permitting broad-band service throughout the city.

The Aug. 31 resignation makes it too late to put a mayoral election on the November general election ballot.

Wellenberger explained that Fairfield Bay, by its population size a Class II city, has the option of its City Council either appointing a mayor for the remainder of Wellenberger’s term, holding a special election for mayor, or appointing a mayoral office holder pending a special election.

“This is something they (city council) will have to decide,” he said.

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