By Kyle Lovern
WILLIAMSON – Before a packed room, Williamson Mayor Steve Knopp announced he was resigning the office at Thursday night’s City Council meeting.
City Clerk Frances Frye and City Attorney Chris Younger also announce that they were resigning.
The Mayor and City Council, along with the Utility Board, had been under fire by concerned citizens over a proposal to raise the water and sewage rates.
The city owes Veolia, the company it contracts with to handle the water and street departments, more than $1.2 million.
Knopp was appointed mayor when former Mayor Darrin McCormick resigned after he pleaded guilty to federal charges involving his previous employer the Bank of Mingo.
The meeting began at 6:00 p.m. and was still going on at 9:00 p.m. as several citizens spoke out against the water increase and asked questions why the city had gotten into such dire financial shape.
At times the meeting became heated and the crowd was vocal. Knopp was obviously not pleased with some of the comments from many of those who attended the meeting.
Younger, a local attorney, has been with the city of Williamson for 25-years.
Frye had submitted her resignation at an earlier date. It was just approved at Thursday night’s meeting. She says she is stepping away because of health issues.
Mayor Knopp says he will stay on through the next city council meeting in September. Knopp also cited health reasons for his resignation.
The news of all the resignations comes on the heels of a 50 percent rate-hike increase request for sewer and water bills.
A petition has been circulating in the city by a group of concerned citizens and will be presented to the Public Service Commission. It will ask that the PSC look at the rate increase.
The Williamson Daily News will have a complete and detailed story on the resignations and council meeting online Friday and in the Sunday print edition.