John Hoover, the president of the Madison Board of Health the past two years who ran for a council seat in November, is resigning from the Board of Health because he will be living in Saudi Arabia to manage a 42-week consulting project.
Hoover said in an email he would not have taken the job in Saudi Arabia if he had won the election in November. He was fully committed to the Madison campaign and, for the four or five months before the election, the campaign was all-consuming, he said.
He and GOP running mate Carmen Pico lost to Democratic candidates Astri Baillie and Ben Wolkowitz.
"When it was over, the question was: 'OK what are you going to do now?'" Hoover said.
He said deciding to work in Saudi Arabia "feels like I have hit the re-set button with my life."
Hoover plans to resign from the Board of Health after the board's reorganization meeting Jan. 22, when the board selects a president and vice president from among its members at the start of every year. Hoover was president of the board the past two years.
Hoover accepted an offer from LoBue Group to manage a large consulting project for their client, Arab National Bank, he said. The project starts Jan. 26. He will be able to return to the Rose City every five or six weeks.
"I lived in Saudi Arabia for two years about 20 years ago, so am familiar with the country, the people, the food, the customs, the environment," he said. "I'll have three consultants from LoBue working for me, as well as a dozen or more locals on the project team."
Hoover has worked with the consulting firm before.
"I last worked for LoBue Group about 12 years ago and have kept in touch with the Chairman, who is a great professional, very honest, and a really good guy," he said. "He approached me earlier this year about the possibility of re-joining the firm. If I had won the election, I would not have joined them."
Mayor Bob Conley announced Hoover's resignation at the start of the Borough Council meeting Monday, thanked him for his work, and wished him luck in the new challenge.
"When you have a hard-working person, word often gets right around the world," Conley said.
Hoover said public health is crucial for Madison, and it is important for the borough to support its Board of Health and Health Department.
They are "vital to the citizens of Madison, and are just as critical as the police and fire departments," he said. "The Council needs to stay committed to public health and support the Board and Department to the best of their ability."