PORTLAND — The spokeswoman for City Hall is stepping down.

Nicole Clegg said Tuesday in a letter to City Manager Mark Rees that she will leave city government to take a position with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

“The decision was not an easy one,” Clegg wrote. “I feel this professional change makes the most sense for me and my family and it presents me with an opportunity to work on policies and issues that are very important to me.”

Clegg was hired as the city’s spokeswoman in 2007. Before coming to Portland, she was the spokeswoman for the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the vice president of public affairs for the Family Planning Association of Maine. She graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts.

Clegg is married to Jesse Connolly, who is chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree.

Rees, who joined the city in 2011, said in an email to city councilors that Clegg’s resignation is effective Oct. 11.

“The city is losing a valuable employee, and I am losing a professional colleague who provided me with excellent advice and support throughout the time we worked together,” Rees said. “Dealing with today’s media is never an easy task but she consistently represented the city with integrity and grace.”

Mayor Michael Brennan said he is disappointed that Clegg is leaving and she will serve Planned Parenthood well. “I think it’s a loss for the city,” Brennan said.

Rees said in an email that he plans to fill the position after he reviews and perhaps revises the job description.

Clegg’s annual salary is $66,826.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

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Twitter: @randybillings