Wednesday, February 15, 2017

City to Wrestle with Mayor’s Election

Sallisaw City Manager Clayton Lucas said City Attorney John Robert Montgomery on Wednesday explained how the city must handle Sallisaw’s election of a mayor on Tuesday. The newly-elected mayor has indicated he cannot serve in the post.

Election results revealed George Bormann won the election by a vote of 141 to 103 for Jim Hudgens.

But Bormann had tried to withdraw his candidacy one day too late to take his name off the ballot. Bormann explained that he was told by his employer, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, that it would be a conflict of interest if he worked for the commission and served as Sallisaw’s mayor. That information came one day too late to take Bormann’s name off the ballot.

Lucas said that if, as expected, Bormann refuses the position, he must do so in writing. That written refusal must be submitted to the city commissioners at their next meeting on March 13.

According to the city charter, the city commissioners will then declare a vacancy on the commission, which would be the mayor’s position. The city commissioners will then call for anyone wishing to take the post to present themselves to the commissioners. Those interested in  the post will then be nominated and put forward at the regular city meeting on April 10.

At that time, the city commissioners will vote on the person to fill the post. That person must win the post by at least three votes. Lucas said the commissioners may nominate themselves if they wish, according to the city charter.

However, the current mayor, Julie Ferguson who did not seek re-election, will step down from the post as of noon on April 10, according to the city charter, and will not be a voting member on the city commission at the time of the meeting. That leaves four city commissioners to vote on the post.

Hudgens is currently serving as the Ward 2 City Commissioner. Hudgens has one year left on his current term as a city commissioner, and if he should be appointed mayor by the other city commissioners, they must repeat the process to fill the Ward 2 vacancy, Lucas said.

The mayor’s term is for three years.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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