After serving nearly five years, Miami Shores Councilman Jesse Walters on Tuesday suddenly announced his immediate resignation in an email to the village manager.
“I just wanted to get my life back together and spend time with my family,” Walters told the Miami Herald on Thursday.
Taking his place on council will be Mac Glinn, a Shores resident for more than 10 years. In April, Glinn ran and lost for council. He came in fourth behind Alice Burch, Steve Zelkowitz and Ivonne Ledesma.
Walters, executive director of Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, said he’s glad to see Glinn replace him.
“I think he’s a solid individual, who came very close getting selected anyways,” Walters said.
Ledesma agrees, but said she shocked and disappointed to see Walters leave.
“He created an LGBT liaison a couple of months ago,” Ledesma said. “Jesse was an openly gay councilman. When he ran, almost immediately, he experienced a lot of prejudice from the community and continues to, in my view, get all this hate for no reason.”
Walters recently became involved in a controversy between Miami Shores Country Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
“There’s not much to say. Its been an ongoing thing of a small group of people making my life miserable,” Walters said.
As a councilman, Walters asked the country club to change some of its policies and revisit its lease agreement with the village.
Johnny LaPonzina, president of Professional Course Management (PCM), which operates the country club, said Walters pressured the club to change its lease, even though there were 20 years left in its contract.
Walters recently canceled the Chamber’s future reservations at the country club and shortly after, the club quit the Chamber.
The former councilman will continue to serve as the Chamber’s executive director, but that he looks forward to having more time to spend with his family.
“I have a 5-year-old and I plan on spending time with her,” Walters said. “The first two years [on council] were fun, the last have not been. I don’t want to deal with the negative, I’m trying to be positive.”