In a tearful and emotional statement, Oro Valley Town Councilman Al Kunisch resigned from his position on the council.

"I have decided to resign from the town council effective immediately," Kunisch said, his voice quaking as he spoke at the Feb. 17 council meeting.

Kunisch cited the continued health difficulties of his wife Pamela, who has been receiving treatments for cancer.

The councilman had previously decided not to seek re-election in the current race. He had intended to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in June.

"I have been honored to serve the residents and business community of the Town of Oro Valley for the past three years and nine months," Kunisch wrote in his resignation letter, which he also read at the council meeting.

Town code requires that the council name an appointee to fill the vacancy left by Kunisch. The code is silent on the nominating process or a time frame for filling vacancies.

Town Attorney Tobin Rosen said he expected the council would call an executive session to discuss the issue in greater detail.

According to town code: "In the event of a vacancy created in the office of Council Member, the Council shall fill such vacancy, by appointment, for the unexpired term of that vacancy."

Kunisch's departure marks the second council resignation in four months. In November, Paula Abbott resigned after serving nearly eight years on the council.

Kunisch, 71, hails from the Chicago-area. He moved to Oro Valley in 1994. He and his wife have two grown sons, one who lives in Prescott and the other in Chicago.

As a member of the Oro Valley Town Council, Kunisch was around during a period of rapid growth and development. When he was elected in 2006, the town was still growing by thousands of residents annually and the housing boom was still in full force.

Prior to serving on the council, Kunisch was a member of the Development Review Board and Historic Preservation Committee.

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