Jerry Webber To Remain Mayor Pro-Tem Until April Election
By Mike Scott
The Kahoka Board of Aldermen met in special session on Wednesday morning, December 31. Topping the agenda was the question of what to do with the Mayor’s position following the unexpected death of Mayor Herb Butler in December.
“Ordinance 115.060 requires that as soon as practical a special meeting be held to fill the vacant position,” City Attorney Rick Roberts explained to the aldermen. ?The ordinance does not address what should happen in the event the board does not make a nomination for the vacant position.
The options presented were to appoint a qualified person to the Mayor’s position, or to leave it unfilled until the April election. If an alderman were appointed Mayor, that would vacate the alderman’s seat, and a new alderman would then need to be appointed.
Under the Pro-Tem arrangement, the Mayor Pro-Tem conducts the meetings, and retains his vote on the board. In the event of a tie vote, the Pro-Tem would also break that tie.
The board discussed the issue, noting that there had been no inquiries from any citizens interested in being appointed to the Mayor’s position. Alderman Larry Young made the motion to allow Alderman Jerry Webber to continue as Mayor Pro-Tem until the election. The measure passed on a 3-0 vote, with Webber abstaining.
Attorney Roberts also explained that although Herb Butler had filed for re-election, his name would not appear on the ballot and the filing fee would be refunded because his death occurred prior the sixth Tuesday before the election.
In other business, Kahoka cable subscribers are still able to watch WGEM and other channels on the city-owned cable system, thanks to a last-minute agreement reached on Wednesday, December 31.
WGEM is seeking compensation from the city in order to allow the retransmission of their signal on the cable system.
“I’ve had one person tell me to shut it off, and everyone else has said ‘you’d better not drop it,” Alderman Young told the council.
“From what I’m hearing from the public, I don’t think we have much choice,” added Alderman Jeff Wood, who was in attendance via telephone.
The board voted 3-1 to approve an agreement with WGEM. Alderman Curtis Mack cast the lone “nay” vote
“I don’t think any of us are happy about this,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Jerry Webber.
WGEM General Manager Carlos Fernandez had these comments, “We're very happy to have reached an agreement with Kahoka Communications. For over 50 years, WGEM-TV has consistently served the Tri-states with local news, weather, and sports as well as community events. Our viewers in Kahoka are a vital part of that audience and we're glad that our efforts will continue to be included within the channel line-up on Kahoka's cable system.”
The board also heard an update on the status of lift station repairs, and approved a change in plans for the sewer line extension. The change adds a manhole to correct for the grade and direction of the sewer line.