- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit-based nonprofit that helps people pay their heating bills announced Friday that City Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins will be its new chief executive.

Jenkins was unanimously selected by its board of directors, according to THAW - the Heat and Warmth Fund.

Jenkins first was elected to the City Council in 2009 and was re-elected last fall.

“I am very excited at the opportunity to lead this high-impact statewide organization,” Jenkins said in a statement released by the nonprofit. “The THAW organization and its extraordinary mission align well with my own personal passion for helping struggling families in Detroit and across the state of Michigan.”

THAW provides energy assistance and other support services for low-income households.

Mayor Mike Duggan said Friday that Jenkins has been “a great partner in the city’s turnaround,” supporting efforts to improve public lighting and remove blight.

“I know she will do a great job over at THAW where she will continue her service to our community,” Duggan said.

Jenkins didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment. She officially joins THAW on Nov. 10.

Her resignation leaves the City Council with eight members. The city charter calls for a replacement to be appointed by a two-thirds vote of the remaining members, City Clerk Janice Winfrey said.

The appointee will serve until the next general election which is in 2016.

Jenkins was chosen by her peers in July 2013 to serve as council president after a spate of resignations pared the board to six active members.

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