Johnstown's Cletus Beam has resigned from his seat on village council -- a position he has held since 1973 -- effective immediately.

Johnstown's Cletus Beam has resigned from his seat on village council -- a position he has held since 1973 -- effective immediately.

Beam said recent health concerns led to his decision.

Mayor Kevin Riffe read Beam's letter of resignation during Tuesday's village council meeting. In it, Beam expressed gratitude to the citizens of Johnstown for electing him term after term.

"From the beginning, I viewed this as a gift from God and a trust with the citizens," he wrote. "I always found the job more than I could handle within my own power. Many times I found myself in prayer for guidance, understanding, wisdom and compassion as we made our decisions."

He said he always made decisions based on what he felt was best for the community.

"I have learned so much from other council members and mayors," Beam wrote. "I have enjoyed the challenges and relished the accomplishments we have made together."

Beam previously served as mayor of Johnstown and as a member of the Johnstown Planning and Zoning Commission.

He won his last term on council in November 2008, when he told The Independent he strives to do the greatest good for the greatest number.

Beam and his wife, Shirley, are longtime residents of Johnstown, having moved to the village in 1957. He retired as a teacher and coach from the Johnstown-Monroe Local School District in 1986.

During his tenure at J-M, Beam taught about every subject except the languages, finishing his career as a health and physical education teacher.

He also coached all sports, but track was his final sport. Beam's dedication to track and his teams lives on in the annual Cletus Beam Invitational held at the Johnstown track.

Village manager Judy Edwards said letters of interest will be accepted through Thursday, Jan. 28, for the open council seat.

Council has 30 days to choose a new council member or Edwards will appoint one.

Edwards said only written submissions will be considered.

Letters can be e-mailed to Edwards at jedwards@villageofjohnstown.org or to Johnstown Village Offices, 599 S. Main St., Johnstown 43031.