Sunday, December 3, 2017
There is something in the water on the third floor of Fayetteville City Hall that turns mayors from public servants into kings. Or they think they're kings. I recall Mayor Fred Hanna's attitude toward those of us who wanted a building footprint moved slightly, so a gorgeous grove of old oaks could be preserved. Hanna would have none of such foolishness.
Mayor Dan Coody pulled the rug out from under a committee of citizens who'd donated two years of their time working on a city environmental ordinance.
Our former Ward 4 council member, now Mayor Lioneld Jordan, has assigned an alderman to fill the vacancy created when Alan Long, alderman for Ward 4, resigned. Jordan's choice will serve as Ward 4 alderman for the next three years.
Long resigned Saturday, Nov. 18. The following Tuesday night, Mayor Jordan made the replacement decision for us. The City Council could have held a special election giving the 5,000 Ward 4 voters an opportunity to choose among several qualified candidates.
Before making the motion to elect Jordan's choice for Ward 4, Council member Sarah Marsh announced she had read all the letters the city clerk sent aldermen regarding the "candidates." Candidates were those people who happened to get word Long had resigned three days before and threw their names in the hat.
That weekend, the University Heights Neighborhood Association list serv was lit up with approval for candidate Teresa Turk. Turk would have had dozens of recommendation letters had we known that was in order. We did not get the chance to recommend much less vote for Turk, or anyone else, since Mayor Jordan cast the deciding council vote, rather than standing up for democracy and a special election.
In regard to the process, City Attorney Kit Williams tells me in an email dated Nov. 30, "I think everyone would have appreciated better options." If City Hall has a Christmas party, I think the appropriate main dish would be baloney.
FayettevilleEditorial on 12/02/2017
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