City council announces re-election plans
by Ralph B. Davis
WILLIAMSON — The Williamson City Council met for the first time in 2013 Thursday evening, where each member announced their intention to run for re-election.
Mayor Darrin McCormick, Councilmen York Smith and Matthew Thornsbury, and Councilwomen Sherri Brown and Connie Rockel all announced that they would seek re-election in the upcoming election this year.
“Decisions aren’t always popular, but you do whats best for the people,” McCormick said. “I commend the council on their hard work.”
Each council member gave a brief statement after the announcement.
“This is as good a council I’ve ever worked with,” Smith said.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here on the council,” Councilwoman Rockel said. “We’re a hardworking group who may not always agree, but always work together.”
“I have enjoyed serving the people, answering their questions and doing anything I can for them,” Brown said.
“We’ve taken strides and we’re going in the right direction,” Thornsbury said. “I think we’re getting there.”
The filing period will run from Jan. 14 until Jan. 26. It will cost $50 to file for mayor, $10 for council member and $1 for committee-person. The primary will be held April 9 and the general election will be June 11. Both will be a paper ballot. The date for early voting was not immediately available. City Clerk Frances Frye said that she would ask for approval of election officials at the next council meeting.
An election date was also set for the excess levy, which is what the Board of Parks and Recreation is primarily funded by: March 9.
Each election is scheduled to last from 6 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Besides announcing intention to seek re-election, the council also discussed a number of topics, such as closing out the West End Grade School demolition project.
Zach Browning, project administrator with Region II, attended the meeting to complete the final drawdown for the project which totaled $5,260.19. The mayor noted that the final funds of the project were used to fix the front of city hall. A motion was called for and carried unanimously.
An amendment to a city ordnance was given its first reading, one which now reads that a person who is:
“Employed in the position as heads of their departments shall curtail their outside jobs and devote their full time to their city job, with the exception of their involvement in regional collaborative efforts and organizations, and through said involvement, the performance of duties consistent with and in furtherance of their duties to and for the City.”
The amendment comes after Williamson Chief of Police C.D. Rockel’s appointment as Commander of the Mingo County Task Force.
McCormick congratulated the chief on his appointment and said that he anticipated further cooperation between the county and the city, and looked forward to working with the county commission, sheriff and other elected officials.
Lastly, the council noted the ongoing struggles with keeping the pedestrian underpass free from graffiti. McCormick said that the usual method of dealing with it was to paint over tasteless pictures and words, which effectively gave the perpetrators “a blank canvass.”
“I would just rather have a local art teacher bring their class to paint ‘tasteful graffiti’ in the underpass from people who actually have talent,” McCormick said.
The Williamson City Council meets every second and fourth Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. The next meeting is set for Jan. 24 and is open to the public.
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