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Posted on: January 19, 2024

Council Member Lester Hardy Announces Resignation

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Earlier this week Council Member Lester Hardy informed Mayor Dohring of his intention to resign from his City Council seat effective January 31, 2024. 

Council Member Hardy described the decision as a difficult one and states, “It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation from the St. Helena City Council effective January 31, 2024, but I find the time and effort required to be an effective City Council member conflicts with my responsibilities to my family, which must come first. Though I know there will be difficult and challenging decisions that come before the City Council in the coming months and years, I am confident the City is in good hands. The City of St. Helena has a bright future ahead, something we can all look forward to.”

Council Member Hardy, started his career as a winemaker, serving in that capacity with distinction at Cain Cellars in the Spring Mountain District, where he worked for six years and produced the first three vintages of “Cain Five”: 1985, 1986, and 1987. He became very active in local land use politics during the Napa County “Winery Definition Ordinance” discussions and discovered that he liked the interplay between law and politics. He was first elected to the City Council in April 1990, entered Stanford Law School in 1992, and continued to serve on the City Council until his term expired in 1994. He opened his law practice in December 1995, and has been practicing law ever since with an emphasis on land use, real estate transactions, water rights, and easement and boundary issues. In June 2017, Hardy returned to public service by serving on the St. Helena Planning Commission until his election to the City Council in 2020. Council Member Hardy also represented the City of St. Helena on many regional and countywide boards and commissions in addition to his ad hoc committee assignments through the City Council.

On behalf of the City of St. Helena, Mayor Dohring expressed his deep appreciation for Council Member Hardy’s many years of service to our City, “Lester has worked tirelessly on behalf of our community for over 40 years. He has provided invaluable insight on a variety of challenging issues facing our City Council, and we have all benefited immensely from his years of experience and vast historical knowledge. He will be missed as a member of our City Council but will continue to be a trusted friend and advisor to me and to many in our community and throughout the Napa Valley.”

Council Member Hardy adds, “I extend my appreciation to St. Helena residents, Mayor Dohring, my City Council colleagues, City Manager, staff, and the many volunteers who dedicate their time and effort to serving on City appointed committees and commissions as well as a range of essential nonprofit organizations in order to ensure our community remains the best place to live and work in the Napa Valley. My commitment to our City and the Napa Valley goes beyond my time in office and I will continue to support our City and contribute to its progress in any way I can as a private citizen.” Read the complete resignation letter submitted by Council Member Hardy.

The City Council will discuss the process to fill the vacancy resulting from Council Member Hardy’s resignation at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

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Seeking Council Member Applications for Special Appointment

With the resignation of Council Member Lester Hardy at the end of January 2024, the City Council is seeking applicants to serve out the rest of his term. Prospective applicants are urged to complete the application (PDF) and drop it off at City Hall or email it to CityClerk@cityofsthelena.org now through February 16, 2024, at 5 p.m. Candidate interviews with the current City Council will take place on February 23, 2024, and the appointment will be made during the scheduled City Council meeting on February 27, 2024.

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