Town

Heartbroken & Frustrated: Reaction to Mayor quitting

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The Luther Town Board hears from Fire Chief Jason Miller at its December 2015 meeting.

The Luther Town Board meets for a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 14, however, the proceeding will be anything but regular after the mayor abruptly resigned from the Town Board last week.

Four town board members will consider whether to appoint a successor to the elected trustee position that Lea Ann Jackson’s resignation leaves vacant or call a special election.

Trustee Ron Henry said he will push for an election but also said he only has one vote on the board.

“It hurt my heart when Lea Ann resigned. She is the most qualified person we have to be mayor. She has a CPA and can handle the town’s finances. She didn’t have any relatives or friends in the town that she had to worry about working ‘the good ole boy system’ and she did not deal with nonsense,” he said.

Henry said he worries about the town’s finances, and points to the approximately $180 left in the town’s “Rainy Day Fund” as of the May meeting. “I have more than that in my pocket, and we are trying to fiscally run a town with only $180 left in our reserves? It’s ridiculous,” he said.

According to newly appointed Town Clerk Trandy Langston, the issue of the vacant trustee seat must be addressed. “According to the statutes, the board must appoint an individual to the seat within 60 days or call for a special election. The person whom is appointed will fill the position until the term expires,” said Langston.

Jackson abruptly resigned from the town board after an agenda item for Tuesday’s meeting revealed that other board members wanted to remove her as mayor. During her tenure on the town board and in her six months as mayor, Jackson has expressed concerns about the town’s finances, lack of a budget and other issues of governance that were not aligned with the law. She was elected to the town board after moving to Luther and building a home.

A self-proclaimed stickler for numbers and procedure, part of Jackson’s mayoral goals were to update town ordinances and help the town gain firmer financial footing to welcome new businesses and residents.

Meanwhile, Langston is preparing five meetings for the town just this week: Tuesday’s regular meetings of the Town and the Luther Public Works Authority which are held back-to-back; Wednesday’s special meeting of the Town and LPWA to address the budget for next fiscal year; and the Planning Commission that meets Thursday evening.

The June 14 meetings will begin at the Community Center at 18120 NE Hogback Road at 7:00pm.

Remaining Town Trustees are Henry, Carolyn Lawson, Cecilia Taft and Birlene Langley.

Disappointed at losing Jackson on the town board, Henry said he encourages fellow Luther neighbors to attend meetings, get involved and be aware of what is happening. “Luther is in bad shape … It’s frustrating,” he said.

 

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