NEWBURYPORT — City Councilor at-large Gregory Earls announced his resignation from the council Monday night, and now the city is seeking applications from residents interested in serving out the remainder of his term.

Earls has served on the council for 16 years and is stepping down as of Aug. 31 because he is moving to North Hampton, New Hampshire.

Registered Newburyport voters interested in being considered for the position must submit a letter of interest and resume to the city clerk's office no later than 4 p.m. on Sept. 3. The term ends Dec. 31.

The letters and resumes received will be part of the council's agenda packet for a meeting in September at which the remaining councilors are expected to appoint a replacement. Votes from six members would be needed for appointment.  

Earls delivered an emotional farewell speech at the council's meeting Monday night, thanking Newburyport voters for allowing him to serve the city and praising the four mayors and "scores" of city councilors he has served alongside.

Earls said "there was always friendship, cordiality and professionalism." 

He also thanked his family for their patience and understanding through the "missed dinners, long nights away and countless rants at the kitchen table" that came with his service on the City Council, and gave his best wishes to present and future councilors.

"I want to wish the council the best in the coming months when faced with critical decisions for our city," he said. "To all those running for office this fall, thank you for throwing your hat in the ring, and I wish you all the best." 

Council President Barry Connell commended Earls for being "a gentleman" who has always been "consistent to his values," and presented a resolution congratulating and recognizing him for his many achievements on the council.

Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newbury­port City Hall. He can be reached via email at jshea@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.

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