Chuck Allen, right, listens to speeches during the Chuck Allen Highway dedication ceremony June 4 at the Wayne County Courthouse.

Chuck Allen, Goldsboro’s mayor since 2015, resigned from elected office Tuesday after more than a year of declining health.

“The time has come because of my health that it is best that I step down as mayor,” Allen wrote in his resignation letter that was submitted to the city clerk’s office by Councilman Bill Broadaway Tuesday morning.

Allen has been on a leave of absence since March, with Councilman David Ham serving as mayor pro tem in Allen’s place.

In his letter, Allen thanked the community and said he will always love Goldsboro.

“It has been an honor to work alongside each of you and serve this community that I love so dearly,” Allen said. “While I will be stepping down as mayor, my unwavering commitment and love for this community will always be first in my heart. I encourage all citizens to find helpful and positive ways to continue to make our community great.”

Allen served on Goldsboro City Council beginning in 1999 and was elected mayor in 2015. He is a graduate of Goldsboro High School and N.C. State University. He owns Allen Grading Co. and the Lantern Inn restaurant. He and his wife, Lori, have three children.

He chose local politics because he wanted to serve citizens of his hometown.

“I have done this simply because I care about Goldsboro, am very proud of Goldsboro and have always been committed to making it better,” Allen said.

While in office, he received many awards and accolades. Earlier this month, he had a 5-mile section of the U.S, 70 Bypass named in his honor. In April, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the governor’s highest civilian honor.

In March, Allen’s leave of absence was announced briefly by Ham during a council meeting, and followed a period of declining health. Allen was diagnosed with cancer in November 2019 but continued to serve more than a year before deciding to take a leave of absence. He received an annual stipend of $11,400 that ends on June 18, said LaToya Henry, Goldsboro spokesperson.

Ham said Tuesday he is saddened by the news.

“As I have said before, mayor Allen has given 20-plus years of his life in the service of the citizens of Goldsboro both as a councilman representing the 5th District and more recently as mayor,” Ham said. “Today, that service officially comes to an end, and that’s a sad time, a sad event.”

Ham did not rule out running as a candidate to replace Allen, though, and said he would consider vying for the position.

“Yes, I have considered that,” Ham said. “I’d only be appointed if I decide to make myself a candidate and the votes were there to appoint me.”

The City Council is tasked with appointing someone to serve in the mayor’s post, until the next municipal election for the city, in 2023.

Councilwoman Hiawatha Jones thinks naming Ham the next mayor makes sense.

“I assume that it would be Dave,” Jones said. “He has the tenure, but you never know.”

Jones also said she is sad to hear the news of Allen’s departure.

“I’m really sad that it came to this,” Jones said. “I knew that it was coming. I just didn’t know when. I’m sad because he’s really done a lot of great things for the city and for Goldsboro, and he really cares. He really cared about the entire Goldsboro, everybody, and he did a lot of things. He helped a lot of people that people don’t even know about.”

Councilman Gene Aycock said the resignation was expected.

“I hate that he had to, (but I) understand it,” Aycock said. “He’s done a great job, and we’ll never find anyone to replace him. He’s doing it because of health. It was probably time, and Chuck probably felt like it was. I understand he’s not doing that well, so that means he’s not going to come back.”

Broadaway turned in Allen’s resignation letter on Allen’s behalf.

“I hate it,” Broadaway said. “I hate the fact that he had to resign.”

Ham said City Council will discuss next steps at its June 21 meeting regarding who will be Allen’s successor.

“We will add it to the agenda for the 21 of June meeting, and we will discuss the process for replacing him,” Ham said.

Allen was not available for comment.

His resignation is effective as of Tuesday, city officials said.