HARTFORD, Ala. (WDHN) — Hartford Mayor Neil Strickland shocked the city council by announcing his resignation to go into effect at the end of the month.

Mayor Strickland says the main reason he is leaving is that he and his wife, Wendy, want to spend more time with his two adult sons and their families.

For more than 35 years, the mayor was in the banking and financial industry in several locations nationwide, but, his heart has always been in Hartford, where his father served as the city’s family doctor for around 50 years.

Strickland says “It’s a great place to live, my dad was here forever as a physician and made a lot of friends here. Still have a lot of high school classmates who live here. And feel very comfortable about staying here and retiring.”

With two adult sons and their families, Mayor Strickland and their families feel this is the best time to spend more time with family.

In his two-and-a-half years in office, Strickland is happy with helping raise city worker pay and improving their retirement benefits. He’s also proud of infrastructure projects and sees a bright future for the city.

Mayor pro tempore Ron Adams will serve as interim mayor once Strickland leaves office. It’ll be up to the city council to elect one of their own to fill the remainder of Strickland’s term which ends in November 2025.

If they can not elect someone, the decision will then be made by Governor Ivey.