Longtime Kenosha Alderman Patrick Juliana is resigning effective July 1.
Juliana, who has served on the Common Council for 17 years representing the 7th District, submitted his one-sentence resignation letter Tuesday. He was just elected to a new two-year term in April.
Asked why he was resigning, Juliana said “no particular reason; I’m moving to another city.”
He said he and his wife are building a new home in Sturtevant.
“I’m leaving with a heavy heart. I was born across the street from where I am living now. It’s been my life. Columbus Park has been my life. But people change, times change, neighborhood’s change, so it’s about time to move on,” he said, saying his wife had long wanted to move into a more modern, open-concept home.
Juliana said he felt he is leaving the city at a time when things are headed in the right direction. “I’m kind of proud of what we accomplished on the council,” he said. “I’m very happy with the direction the mayor is taking the city. I think the citizens of Kenosha are in very, very good hands.”
Juliana, 70, is the retired owner of an automotive repair business. He first served on the council from 1980 to 1984. He then returned to the board in April 2008 and has been an alderman ever since.
City Clerk Debra Salas said the council could appoint a person to the alderman’s seat or the city could hold a special election for the district. She said the city’s legal department is studying the options and is expected to make a recommendation.
“The first thing they need to do is declare the seat vacant,” she said, saying she expects that to happen at a council meeting in July.
If they do opt to vote to fill the seat, she said, the council would seek applicants for the position, interview candidates and then hold a council vote on the appointment.
Juliana said he would like to see former alderman Ted Ruffalo appointed to the seat. “There’s a gentleman in the district who is going to take my place. He’s got the same interest,” he said. “He was on the council before, he represented the Second District.”
Ruffalo said he does plan to apply to fill the vacancy. He said Juliana approached him to let him know he would be resigning and to see if he would be interested in becoming an alderman again.
“It was really quite an honor to have him show up on my doorstep,” he said.
Ruffolo, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Iraq, was an alderman from 2010 to 2012. He is currently a doctoral candidate in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and was a visiting assistant professor at Carthage College.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.