Marked Tree council discusses mayor appointment

Friday, January 19, 2018

Discussion on the best way to proceed with filling the late Mary Ann Arnold's position as mayor was the top item of business for the Marked Tree City Council Monday night.

Before she passed away in December, Mayor Arnold appointed Alderman Steve Craig to serve as mayor pro tempore. The first item of business Monday was a motion to vacate Mayor Arnold's office, which passed unanimously. Then discussion turned to what to do next.

"She told me she wanted me to be mayor pro tem, which shocked me, and to basically finish her term out," Craig said. "I'm asking you to accept me as the next mayor."

Alderman Danny Johnson asked if the council could do that. City Attorney Jobi Teague said they could not due to a statue that says they have to have a special election if there are more than six months left in the term.

City Clerk Pam Wright said she had spoken with Mark Hayes, who is Director of Legal Services for the Municipal League, and that Hayes said there is another statute that says if the office of mayor is vacated and there is less than a year left in the term, then the council can appoint someone without having a special election. Wright said that statute was the one Arnold had in mind when she appointed Craig.

After some discussion, the council voted to table the matter until Pam can get written confirmation from Hayes that they can legally have someone appointed as mayor without a special election.

In other business, the council accepted a bid from Dennis Sadler to tear down and dispose of a house at 206 Tyler Street for $2,500 and approved closing out a CD and transferring the money to the Water Operating Account. Regarding discussion of the parks and social media, Craig said that could wait until a decision is made regarding the mayor's position.

In announcements, food commodities will be distributed starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the fire department.

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