This story has been updated from an earlier version.
Monica Worrell is leaving her position as a member of the Havre de Grace City Council, she announced Monday night.
Worrell, 53, has accepted a job as director of business development for Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union and starts next Monday. She will be the face of the not-for-profit financial service cooperative, she said.
“It has to be clear that I’m representing APGFCU in my new role, and it’s important that I not allow that to be confused by having both positions,” said Worrell, who has been marketing director and patient relations manager for Advanced Eye Care Aesthetics in Bel Air for the last six years. “And when it comes down to it, I don’t think it’s fair to the citizens and my new employer and my family and even to myself to keep up at that pace while coming into a new career and organization.”
Worrell was elected to the Havre de Grace City Council in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. She had decided she wasn’t going to run again for Havre de Grace City Council when her term ends next May.
Before running for Havre de Grace council, Worrell ran unsuccessfully for the Harford County Council, losing to eventual Councilman Curtis Beulah in the 2014 Republican primary.
Worrell also lost in the Republican primary race for House of Delegates District 34A in June, finishing behind incumbent Del. Glen Glass and J.D. Russell for two slots on the November general election ballot.
After that latest loss, Worrell said she had a “moment.”
“I believe when God shuts a door, he opens a window. When I did not win the state delegate race, it gave me a moment in life where you revisit what you’re doing,” she said. “In doing so, it made me realize that I was probably coming to the end of my time as an elected officials and I needed to figure out what I was doing next in my life.”
She had just started thinking about it when the APGFCU position crossed her path, she said.
“I feel like there was a bucket sitting at my feet and I was trying to put the good in the world into the bucket, and someone picked up the bucket and dumped it over my head,” Worrell said. “It’s a great opportunity, a great career and I get to remain in Harford County putting goodness into the world.”
As director of business development, Worrell will be working with community and civic organizations, making sure APGFCU “is thought of first and foremost as the finest credit union in the region,” she said.
She will be replacing Claudia Holman, who’s retiring after 25 years in the position, Worrell said.
She’s sad to be leaving the council on which she’s served for 3 ½ years, but is excited for her new challenge.
“l still be part of the community doing good in the world,” Worrell said. “That part will never change.”
Worrell joined the council at the same time William T. Martin became mayor, after serving on the council.
“We came in together,” Martin told Worrell.
He said he was Worrell’s biggest supporter when she decided to run for House of Delegates, and he was shocked when she wasn’t elected in the primary.
“I’ve served with Monica for 3½ years and in a world where politicians don’t know when to leave, Monica would have been somebody to down down [to Annapolis] and represent us and represent the people,” Martin said. “I know where your heart is. I know you wanted to do it, for nothing else than your love of serving the community.”
He said he wants Havre de Grace citizens to know “how lucky they were” to have Worrell representing them.
“You’re one of the best people I’ve ever served with on the council,” Martin said.
Under the city charter, the mayor will appoint someone to serve the remainder of her term, subject to approval of the five remaining council members.
Martin has 60 days to make an appointment, he said. Anyone who is interested in serving the remaining term can submit an application to Martin at city hall.
“This evening at the city council meeting, Council Member Monica Worrell announced her resignation from the City Council effective immediately,” Martin said in a statement issued after Worrell’s announcement. “Since her first day on council, she has been a leader, an amalgam of conviction and civic mindedness. During her tenure, she has always spoken and stood up for what she believes in.”
“She played an intricate role in helping Havre de Grace achieve its Sustainable Maryland certification and passionately championed legislation that improved public safety, the environment, and economic development,” the mayor continued.
“Our community is forever grateful for her service. Monica's wisdom and compassion will be greatly missed,” he said. “Moving forward, I am confident she will use her council experience to continue to make a powerful impact. I would like to thank Monica personally not only for her commitment but also for her friendship. I wish her all the best as she begins a new chapter.”
“In accordance with section 57 of the City Charter, in the upcoming weeks, I will submit to the City Council my nomination for their approval to fill the current vacant council position,” the mayor added.
Council President David Glenn also praised Worrell.
That she got more than 2,000 votes in the last city election that is “without a doubt impressive,” Glenn said, and pointed out the many things that make her stand out.
“First and foremost, she’s always demonstrated a concern for our most valuable resource, and that’s people. She’s always been a strong advocate for the boards and commissions she’s served on, and always sought new, creative ideas and ways to improve efficiency of operations,” he said.
She is receptive to news ideas and can get to the problem at hand. When she was trying to get someone to change their position, she did it with honesty, goodwill and integrity, Glenn said.
“Bottom line, the commitment and follow through in each and every action she undertook and her willingness to share knowledge with others had a positive influence on this dais,” he said. “Monica, your cooperative spirity and your uncommon dedication serve as an inspiration to all of us.”
He wished her well in her new position and said he has no doubt she’ll give it 100 percent.
“As a longtime Little League coach, I have no doubt you’ll hit it out of the park,” Glenn said.
Before entering the local political arena, Worrell was chief spokesperson and head of media relations for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. She also held management posts in the local hotel industry and operated a restaurant.