Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson said Monday that he intends to step down from his seat early to take a new job with a renewable energy investment firm.
Johnson, an IT professional who has represented the southeastern neighborhoods of Minneapolis for a decade, wrote in a newsletter to his constituents that his new job starts Oct. 10. He wrote that he intends to split his time between that role and his council responsibilities until after a new council member is elected to serve the 12th Ward.
The City Council election is Nov. 7, but a new council member would not be able to start immediately; City Clerk Casey Carl said the earliest possible day a new council member-elect could relieve Johnson from his post is Nov. 21, after all ballots are counted and certified, and the seven-day protest period has concluded.
As he wraps up his time in office, Johnson expects to vote on highly anticipated actions including the appointment of Hennepin County Chief Judge Todd Barnette as the city's new Community Safety Commissioner, and a potential compromise on rideshare regulations.
"I'm trying to strike the right balance for constituents and it's something I talked with a number of constituents about before deciding on this path," said Johnson. "In many ways, it is easier for me to just say, 'Hey, I'm done on this date,' but I also care about the ward and about ensuring that constituents are represented."
After Oct. 10 Johnson will relinquish his five committee assignments, including his role as chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. Council Member Emily Koski, who also chairs the Budget Committee, will lead the Public Works Committee, Johnson said.
Johnson's votes on next year's city budget, which will happen in late 2023, will likely be left to his successor. Aurin Chowdhury, Nancy Ford and Luther Ranheim are vying for the 12th Ward seat.
The rest of the City Council will be sworn into office in January. Early voting has begun.