New Mayor Presides Over First Council Meeting of 2015
Members of the Piggott City Council, and key staff members, gathered Monday during the noon hour for their first meeting of the new year. As required by law, the city officials handled a variety of bookkeeping matters, approved the council organization and re-appointments. The gathering was the first for the new mayor of Piggott, longtime alderman Jim Poole, as he was elected to the position during last year's general election. As a result of his election, the council also declared a vacancy for Poole's former position with plans of appointing his replacement later this month.
With aldermen Lester Edwards, Mike Cook and Jamey Parks in attendance, Poole called the first meeting of his term to order. Also in attendance were City Clerk Ramona Magee, City Attorney Kimberly Dale, City Treasurer Jamie Cluck, Piggott Police Chief Don Poole and Utilities Manager Brian Haley.
The first order of business was to approve the city organization, which was okayed without change. Under the plan the meetings will continue to be held at 6 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month in the meeting room at city hall. Under the continuation of the current rules, changes to the agenda could only be made with council approval, and public comments were to be limited to five minutes per person. The council will also continue to utilize Robert's Rules of Order, with the stipulation that any motion to adjourn would receive priority.
The plan of organization passed on a vote of 3-0.
Council members also declared a vacancy in South Ward, Position One, due to Poole's election as mayor. As a result, the council will consider appointing a replacement to complete the final two years of his term during their regular monthly meeting, set for Monday, Jan. 26.
"I feel we could probably appoint someone today, but I want to make sure everyone is aware of the vacancy and have a chance to let us know if they're interested in serving," Poole said of the process. "To be considered they must be a legal citizen of Piggott, a registered voter and live in the South Ward."
The dividing line for the north and south wards in Piggott is Main Street from the east city limits to the court square, and West Clay Street from the court square to the west city limits.
"If anyone is unsure of which ward they live in, all they have to do is call or go by the county clerk's office," Poole noted. "Basically, it would be the same as whatever ward you vote in."
Poole also took the opportunity to clarify the matter, and noted there is a difference between those appointed to municipal positions and others. "Since this is a municipal position whoever is appointed to fill-out the remainder of the term can run for that office when their term is set to expire," he added. This only holds true for municipal appointments, and does not pertain to those appointed to fill out un-expired terms for county or state positions.
Council members also voted, without dissent, to re-appoint key city personnel. Those appointments included Cluck as the city treasurer, Don Poole as police chief and Bradley Scheffler as fire chief.
Don Poole was appointed by Magee on Wednesday, Dec. 30, following the retirement of longtime Piggott Police Chief Bill Alstadt.
The aldermen also approved the re-appointment of Frank Staples to another term on the Planning and Zoning Commission, while accepting the resignations of Jeff Benbrook and Charles Hinkle.
Mayor Poole indicated he hoped to have prospective replacements for the two available for consideration at the January meeting, set for later this month.