Scott appointed at Marked Tree mayor pro tem

Saturday, May 18, 2013

With the recent death of Marked Tree mayor Wayne Nichols, alderman Michael Scott has been appointed by the city council to serve as mayor pro tem until a special election in August when someone will be selected to complete Nichols' unexpired term.

The council heard from several citizens interested in the position Monday night, including former Marked Tree mayor Dixon Chandler, Mary Ann Arnold--who served on the Quorum Court for 22 years--and current council members Cleo Johnson, Jr. and Michael Scott. Of those four, Scott is the only one who does not intend to run in the election. Both Scott and Arnold offered to serve as mayor pro tem for free. The council voted 5-2 in favor of Scott, with Scott abstaining from voting.

"I'm willing to step in for three months and save the city some money," Scott said.

City Clerk Pam Wright said she would still be in charge of the daily operation of the city while Scott would preside over meetings and sign checks.

Wayne Nichols, who passed away on May 5, had resigned from the position of mayor on April 29 due to his health. Filing for the special election to fill the vacancy for the office of mayor will begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 20, and will end on at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28. Packets are available at Marked Tree City Hall. Candidates must file by petition with 30 signatures of registered voters from the city.

The drawing of ballot positions will be on June 6. Early voting begins Aug. 6 and ends Aug. 12. The election will be from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 at ASU-Newport in Marked Tree. Anyone with questions may call Wright at 358-3216.

In other business, the council:

*Heard from Suzanne Peyton of Garver Engineers regarding grants for airport projects. Peyton said the airport's current project goal is to install approach lights, and they are applying for a $195,000 grant this year. The council authorized her to move forward on the grant.

*Heard from Larry Crockett regarding using Carver gym for a USDA program to feed 200 kids 4-5 days a week throughout the summer. Crockett said he ran the program last year at a local church, but the DHS wanted him to find a more centralized location. Upon hearing another group wanted to use the gym for the same purpose, the council tabled the matter until they can learn more.

*Heard from Tina Crockett regarding building a kitchen onto her daycare to prepare more nutritious meals in line with Health Department standards. Council members asked to see estimates on the expansion to see what the city can do because the city owns the building.

*Discussed an insurance policy for the railroad spur for $12,000 a year. The council tabled the matter until next month.

*Approved payroll checks written since the passing of Mayor Nichols.

*Accepted a CenterPoint Energy Community Partnership Grant in the amount of $1,600 for a firelite skid unit-pacer pump with poly water tank for the fire department.

*Approved hiring Otto Collins as a patrolman.

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