SUNNYVALE – Mason Fong is resigning from the Sunnyvale City Council for a job in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, according to a letter obtained by this news organization.

Fong, who was elected in 2018, has been appointed by Newsom to serve as the governor’s deputy director of external affairs for northern California. His final day as a council member will be Nov. 14.

In a Nov. 1 letter sent to the council, Fong called the news “bittersweet” and said he was resigning to “avoid any potential and perceived conflict of interest.” In his new role, he’ll serve as a “liaison” between Northern California communities and the governor’s office.

“I’m very much looking forward to elevating my public service to a large portion of the state [and] to be able to serve the community and see how to translate what their priorities are into action,” Fong told The Mercury News.

In a statement, Mayor Larry Klein said that “serving in the governor’s office is a terrific opportunity” and wished Fong “well in his new role.”

Outside of his role on the council, Fong has worked as the legislative director for San Jose Councilman Matt Mahan since Mahan assumed office earlier this year. Before that, he worked as the director of public policy communications for the Silicon Valley Organization.

Price & Product Availability Tracker

Discover where products are available & compare prices

In 2018, Sunnyvale voters passed Measure L — an amendment to the city’s charter that outlines the process for filling vacancies on the council.

According to the charter, the council has 60 days from the date of vacancy to fill the seat by appointment or call an election. If the vacancy is filled by an appointment, the appointed council member will remain in office until the next general election or the next special election that is combined with a statewide election – whichever is sooner.

“The City Council will take these actions in public meetings and we are currently developing the various timing and scheduling options for them to consider,” city spokesperson Jennifer Garnett said.

Fong’s term runs through 2022 and is one of the three remaining at-large elected seats — aside from the mayor — as the city is in the process of switching to district elections.