By Mary Hladky
Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, will deploy in August to Qatar in support of NATO operations in Afghanistan.
Rodgers, who announced his deployment at the June 23 City Council meeting, said he wants to complete his term of office by attending city meetings remotely.
If that cannot be accomplished, Rodgers, 41, said he would submit a leave of absence and council members would appoint someone to temporarily fill his seat until his term ends on March 31, 2021.
But he will step down as deputy mayor, saying that position should be held by a council member physically present in the city. He asked that his colleagues make the selection at the next council meeting on July 28.
The job of a reservist is to be ready for active deployment, he said.
“Recently, I received that call,” Rodgers said. “It is my turn to serve and I am needed. The military selected me for deployment and I stand ready.”
Rodgers was elected to a three-year council term in 2015 and won re-election in 2018.
In an interview, Rodgers said he had planned to mobilize after his term ended but was selected earlier than he expected.
Rodgers, a cryptological officer, will manage an intelligence team for missions in Afghanistan. His position may entail travel to that country, he said.
Rodgers, the father of four children, has worked at IBM for almost 20 years and now leads a technical sales engineering team for IBM’s security product.
He comes from a military family.
Rodgers’ father was an Army master sergeant, and his two grandfathers served in the Navy. While he has not served in the active-duty military, he joined the Navy Reserve in 2011.
Council members wished Rodgers well.
“I just request that you please stay safe,” said Monica Mayotte.
“We will miss you, Deputy Mayor Rodgers,” said Andy Thomson. “Godspeed, sailor.”