Monday, June 7, 2010

Susan Burgess statement on resignation

Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess delivered the following remarks Monday as she announced her resignation from the city council.

Burgess, who underwent surgery in 2007 for colorectal cancer, announced last month her cancer had spread and she was undergoing hospice care. -- April Bethea


Dear colleagues and the people of Charlotte:

With a great deal of personal sadness, I must resign my seat on the City Council of Charlotte, effective immediately. I am unable to fulfill the commitments of a City Council member because I can no longer attend meetings or perform other requirements of the job, and the people of Charlotte deserve an effective representative in this At-Large position.

I love my city and its people and it has been an honor for me to represent them. I treasure the support and encouragement that I have received from so many of the people of Charlotte.

To my colleagues on the Council, and the staff and employees of the City, it has been a pleasure serving with you.

God bless all of you, and God bless the City of Charlotte.


Dear colleagues:
As I must resign my position on the City Council, I urge you to give strong consideration for my replacement to my son, Jason Burgess. He shares my values and ideals completely and I am confident that he will be able to serve in my place and be faithful to the principles that I have worked so hard to represent in my time in office.

By way of background, Jason moved to Charlotte with our family in 1982, attended Alexander Graham Junior High School and graduated from Myers Park Senior High School, where he was a student leader and an outstanding soccer and basketball player. In his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a pre-med major, he worked tirelessly to earn a spot as a walk-on for Dean Smith's varsity basketball team. After graduating from UNC-CH's School of Medicine and completing a surgery residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC, he completed a vascular surgery fellowship at Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center in Chicago. With the beginning of his vascular surgery career, he returned with his family to Charlotte.

Jason embodies the qualifies that I have worked towards as a public servant. He is a bridge-builder: soon after he returned to Charlotte, he was elected chief of surgery at Mercy Hospital and since then he was instrumental at merging two separate surgical practices into the largest independent surgical group in the region. He is a natural leader and was recently named by the Charlotte Business Journal as one of the "40 under 40" emerging leaders. In 2009, he was named by Charlotte Magazine as one of Charlotte's Top Docs," because of his commitment to cutting edge medicine and his dedication to his patients. As his resume demonstrates, he is an extremely hard worker and has amazing drive.

Jason lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and family in the Dilworth neighborhood. He has the full support of his family and is confident that he can balance his professional, personal and civic life.

It is important to have my At-Large seat filled as soon as possible, with crucial decisions upcoming. I am certain that Jason is the best person to serve out my unexpired term on the Council, and to continue to stand for the values and ideals that the people elected me to represent at the beginning of this term.

Thank you very much for you consideration of Jason Burgess.

Susan Burgess


Anonymous said...

While I feel sorry for Burgess, two questions come to mind:

1) Why did she wait until she was on her deathbed to finally resign?

2) Is nepotism really the way to go with her replacement?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric L. said...

Show a little respect, anon #2, my gosh. And if you're going leave disparaging comments, at least be accountable for your comments and have the courage to post your name, you gutless wonder.

Anonymous said...

I've frequently been on the opposite side of the issues with Susan, but she was always so gracious and kind. Never mean or spiteful.

Why not give her a gift in her final days by honoring her by appointing her son to her seat? A democrat is a democrat -- if he's like his mother, we could do a lot worse.

The hateful comments are uncalled for and petty. Even adversaries can be gracious -- something we could learn from Susan.

God bless you, Susan.

A conservative, Republican, evangelical.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for Burgess and wish her only the best. However, just because she has resigned due to health conditions is NO reason to appoint someone in her family. This is nepotism and she is using her illness to condone it. This SHOULD NOT be allowed regardless of 'why' the resignation. There needs to be a special election to fill her position. This special election could be done in conjunction with the November, 2010 elections. NO NEPOTISM as this IS WRONG!

ThaQueenCity said...

I agree Susan Burgess dedicated her life to our community, Thank You Susan. An no I did always agree with her politics...

But her son should NOT be considered, this is what is wrong with our current leadership...they all seem to think it is OK to give their family and friends jobs without considering others or seem to think working for a company which might profit from their elected postition is OK.

It is unethical!

Anonymous said...

Isn't nepotism when two related people are working together at the same time. So your argument is invalid.
In the history of our country, family members have been called in to finish a term of a loved one - I think it shows great honor to Susan. She's worked tirelessly for this city. Show some respect, its the very least you can do.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who said: 'Isn't nepotism when two related people are working together at the same time. So your argument is invalid.'
Look at what YOU SAID: 2 people WON"T be working together. One won't be there any longer and wants to give it to her son. the ONLY WAY he could be there is a result of his mama. There will be ONLY 1 and this IS nepotism! Learn to count!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the vitriol here. As has been recognized here and elsewhere, Susan was a fair, bridge-building public servant. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, all of this conversation about nepotism (which, by definition it is not) is uncalled for. It is true that family members and loved ones typically fill an unexpired term for a loved one who is ill or deceased. Then, when the next election cycle comes around the seat will be open for anyone to run. Good Lord, she hasn't even passed ... can you vultures give her and her family some peace in this difficult time?

MBMB said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Burgess family and special thanks to Susan for sharing her gifts of love, and peace with all of Charlotte. It is my strong belief and opinion that Jason, a well qualified individual should be considered to fill the seat vacated by Susan Burgess. I respect and value her opinions and recommendation. This is not nepotism but a great recommendation. We are too blessed to ignore our blessings.

M. B. Marshall

Anonymous said...

Thank god for Susan Burgess and for the fine example that she leads. It is no coincidence that she is the #1 vote getter in the last Council election. It shows the city trusts her judgement.

Further, there is nothing wrong with her suggestion that her accomplished and qualified son be considered by the Council to fill the seat that her constituents elected her to for the remainder of the term. I fully support her wishes to have her son, Jason, serve on Council for the remainder of her term. As you know, there is still a process to be followed, and a vote to be taken, all by individuals elected by you and me. At the end of this process, we should all hope that someone replaces her as a Council member that shows the same level of dedication to the people of Charlotte.

Adrian DeVore said...

I met Susan Burgess several years ago when I was formerly involved with Democratic party politics. Although, I didn't always agree with her on many issues; it is very sad that her illness will prevent her from continuing the work she has started.

As I read some the vicious comments on this blog. They left a lot to be desired. Whatever road the City Council decides to take in choosing a replacement. May they choose the best candidate for Susan Burgess's position not as a seat holder but as someone who can chart their own course.

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David said...

@Adrian Devore: I was reading about Susan and whilst I didn't always agree with her views, I'm sure she is sorley furniture

shed plans said...

My heart certainly goes out to Susan.

Anyone that is suffering from Cancer deserves our sympathy.

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Monica said...

I am sorry to hear that. So sad to hear that she had to resign just because of his disease! But, it does not matter because it is for her wellness. said...

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