Yatesville will hold a special election to fill the remaining term of the late city councilman Elmer Kent, who passed away on December 11, 2013, following an extended illness. Mayor Cecil Moncrief told the City Council at their meeting on February 11, 2014, that the election date will be May 20, the same date as the state primaries.
“Qualifying will be 45 days ahead of that, so it will probably be sometime in April,” Moncrief said. “If we have one to qualify, there will be no election. If we have two to qualify, then there will be an election.”
Mayor Moncrief said in an article in the November 30, 2012 issue of The Thomaston Times that he can’t remember the last time Yatesville actually held an election because he can’t recall the last time there was more than one person running for an elected position. When only one person runs for a position, there is no need for an election. The mayor stated that he was in his third term as mayor, and has yet to receive a vote, since no one ever ran against him.
In the same article, council member Ronnie Riggins lamented that once you get on the city council, you never get off.
“I’ve made this statement several times. I got talked into running and after I actually got on the council, I didn’t know it, but once you’re on here, you’re on here for life,” Riggins said, referring to the lack of people wanting to serve on the council.” (Riggins and two other incumbents were sworn in for another term in January 2014 after no one opposed him or fellow council members Wanda Dozier and Robert Releford in the November 2013 election.)
If no one qualifies to fill the vacant position, the city council could appoint someone to the seat, if they can find someone willing to accept the appointment.
In other business, the council approved the purchase of a used bucket truck from John Perdue for $6,000. The need for a ‘new’ truck came up in December, when Riggins noted that when he and other volunteers were putting up the city’s Christmas decorations, the city’s old bucket truck was barely operable, with hydraulic fluid leaking out of the main cylinder and the boom engine cutting out when the arm was extended.
After a story about the need for another truck was published in The Thomaston Times, the city received three offers. One came from Perdue, a Yatesville resident who had purchased a used bucket truck from the Forestry Commission and offered to sell it to the city for $6,000. A second came from Neal Trice of Upson EMC, who said the EMC would make a bucket truck and crew available for the city to use at no cost. The third offer came from an unidentified source who said he would rent the city a truck for $500 for three days.
At the council’s January meeting, Mayor Moncrief asked the council to think about what they wanted to do and let him know at the February meeting. At the Feb. 11 meeting, Council member Robert Releford said he felt the city needed to purchase a bucket truck.
“I don’t think we need to rely on someone else every time we need a bucket truck,” Releford said.
Mayor Moncrief called on Billy Lee, a resident who works for the Forestry Commission, to tell the council about the truck Perdue has for sale.
“It has very low miles and low hours on it,” Lee said. “It was just used at the nursery for picking pine cones off of trees. That’s what it was used for. I’d say it will reach up 40 to 45 feet. I think it is around a 1990 model.”
After further discussion, Council member Riggins made a motion to purchase the truck from Perdue for $6,000. Council member Phyl Gatlin seconded the motion and it was approved, 4-0.
Mayor Moncrief said he will get someone he knows to let them know the value of the city’s old truck and put it up for sale.
“I guess we ought to get someone to look at the truck and give us a value on it. I don’t even know what we paid for the truck. It is an old Southern Bell truck and we’ve had it for a long time,” Moncrief said. “I know some folks that deal with old trucks, I’ll see if they can come up with a price on it.”
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.