Who are the “elected” officials in the City of Yatesville? Good question, since Yatesville Mayor Cecil Moncrief cannot remember the last time the small town actually had an election.
The issue came up during the Yatesville City Council meeting on Nov. 11 when a resident asked when city elections in Yatesville are held. Mayor Moncrief said the mayor and council positions are up for election every other odd year.
“The way this thing works, is in 2011, we had the mayor and two council positions up, with no opposition. With no opposition, there is no election held,” said Moncrief, noting that he is in his third term as mayor and has never actually received a vote.
“ Next year, in 2013, there will be three council positions up. Should those same three qualify and no one else runs, there will be no election. If the three incumbents don’t qualify, but three more people do, you still don’t have an election, because there is no opposition. If at any time any of the positions are up, and we have more people running than we have posts, then there is an election.”
Councilmember Ronnie Riggins noted that from a financial viewpoint, not having an election is better for the city.
“It saves us money not to have an election,’ said Riggins. “If there is no opposition, there is no point in having an election.”
Riggins added that when council members appear to have been on the council for long periods of time, there is a good reason for it.
“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,” said Riggins, referring to the lack of people wanting to serve on the council.
Mayor Moncrief agreed.
“That’s true in the county and in the cities. People don’t want to get involved. They do not want responsibility; all they want to do is gripe. I’ve been to county commission meetings, and every meeting they are going to be there and they are going to have something to say. But you ask them why they don’t run for county commission, and they say ‘I wouldn’t have it.’”