Marmaduke mayor steps down Friday

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The City of Marmaduke has a new leader following a special city council meeting held Friday.

Former mayor Byron Phillips, who was not present at the meeting, submitted his resignation in the form of a letter, citing personal reasons.

After accepting Phillips' resignation, effective Friday afternoon, the council appointed city recorder/treasurer Betty Jackson as interim mayor.

"I'll continue to do my normal job, as well as the duties which go along with being mayor," Jackson said. "I'll do whatever I can to take care of things any way I can."

As for a permanent solution, Jackson says the council is considering their options. They currently are examining what steps must be taken, such as whether they are allowed to appoint a new mayor or if a special election is required.

Jackson has experience in Marmaduke government, having worked at city hall for a number of years.

Jackson says she was surprised by Phillips' resignation.

"It came as a shock to me," Jackson said. "I don't know the details. I really feel bad about. I really hate that the city has been put into the position of not having a mayor."

Phillips could not be reached for comment.

In 2006, six candidates ran for the position of mayor in Marmaduke. Phillips overcame former mayor Robert Dowler in a run-off. Other candidates included then-incumbent mayor Nileane Drope, Melissa Carter Vinson, Charlotte Vangilder and Kathryn Eddington.

Jackson says work will go on as the city prepares to host its Independence Day celebration June 27 at the city Park.

"I'll just do the best I can," Jackson said. "I want to do what's best for the community. We've got a list of things that need to get done and we're going to do our best to go down that list and get things done."

The Marmaduke City Council is scheduled to hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 20.

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