A Florida mayor quit in the middle of a city council meeting Monday.
Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard packed his bag and said he's the wrong guy for the job, calling the resignation one of the toughest things he has ever done in his life.
"I'm not the right leader for this council anymore," Hibbard said. "I'm concerned where the city is going because this is simple math and we're not doing very well on the test."
He later told television station WTSP that the council is spending recklessly.
"It was a 4-to-1 vote forward with what I believe is reckless spending," he said to the outlet.
Mayor says he is 'the wrong guy' to lead the council
During the meeting, Hibbard said he has "always believed in making sacrifices for public service," but resigning is best for his own health, his family and other unnamed reasons.
The former mayor acknowledged that the news was shocking and said his wife was no exception.
"I'm the wrong guy right now," he said during the announcement. "I just called my wife. She's shocked and I don't ever quit anything but it's been more and more obvious to me that as much as I love the city and as much as I want to stick around for some of the things that are going to occur over the next couple of months, I simply am not the right person."
Before walking out, he wished everyone the best and said despite them not always agreeing on matters, the council is made up of "first class people" who are dedicated to Clearwater residents.
City council: 'I have no idea why Mayor Hibbard chose to resign.'
The council called for a 10-minute recess and when they returned, Councilwoman Kathleen Beckman spoke.
She said the council is surprised and saddened by the mayor's abrupt resignation.
"People make significant decisions about their life or work every single day and a lot of factors weigh in on that," she said. "I have no idea why Mayor Hibbard chose to resign today. I'm just as surprised as anyone but the work goes on."
Before moving forward with the meeting, she left the floor open for comments.
Councilman David Allbritton spoke, reminding the public that there are still four council members present and the city is "still on track."
"I don't want anybody freaking out right now about this," he said. "We've got enough people up here to make the decisions and keep everything on track, so that's what we plan to do today."
Hibbard was elected to a four-year term in March 2020, with about 55% of the vote, putting him back in a position he held from 2005 through 2012, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY's NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Clearwater, Florida mayor quits abruptly during council meeting Monday