The Cumberland City Council passed a motion requesting the resignation of Mayor Carl Hatfield during the regular meeting Tuesday. The move came after the meeting had been recessed for a time because of a car fire that occurred on a Cumberland city street.
Council member Ron Jarvis made the motion to request Hatfield’s resignation. The motion was seconded by Charles Raleigh and unanimously approved by all council members in attendance.
Council members Yvonne Gilliam and Jerry Gilliam were not present at the meeting.
After the motion passed, Hatfield made a few comments before leaving.
“It takes a unanimous vote of the council to impeach a mayor,” said Hatfield. “But I’m not so naive to think that I could sit here and do an effective job as mayor of the city of Cumberland when I have five council members that have voted for me to leave. So, give me a date you want me to go.”
The council advised Hatfield they wanted him to resign effective immediately.
“I’m gone,” said Hatfield. “There’s certain procedures. I’ll help you change over the bank statements.”
Hatfield then exited the meeting.
The council passed a motion for council member David Dixon to chair the remainder of the meeting.
“This was not an impeachment vote,” said Raleigh. “This was a courtesy to ask him to resign.”
After the meeting, the council members were asked why this action was taken.
“It’s actually too lengthy to get into right now, but it seems the mayor didn’t want to work with the council in any way,” said Jarvis.
Council member Carolyn Elliott pointed out that Hatfield said on previous occasions that if council wanted him to resign to make a motion to that effect.
“Things have got to change,” said Raleigh. “Attitudes have got to change. I think we solved a lot if he follows through with it.”
Council member Leslie Bush said the move was not personal.
“I’ve only been on the council a short while,” said Bush. “We’ve passed motion after motion. We’ll put things in action to take care of things, and things aren’t getting done.”
Dixon said he wanted to see the city move forward.
“I’ve served two terms and three months on the council,” said Dixon. “Month after month we come in and make motions to have things done. We try to work together as a council. We’ve tried to work with the mayor. He comes into meetings and says things will change. I’ve not seen any changes personally.”
Hatfield confirmed via telephone Wednesday that he has turned in his written resignation.
“There’s not much use of me trying to remain in office if there are five of them opposing anything and everything that I do,” said Hatfield.
Hatfield said there were some provisions included in the resignation, such as he cannot be held responsible for anything that takes place subsequent to his resignation.
“I’m sure they’ll approve it,” said Hatfield. “There’s no reason for them not to.”
Hatfield said he has no plans to pursue another elected position at this time.
“At 79, there’s not too much potential there for me to go into anything except a golf course, my business and spend more time with my wife, ” said Hatfield.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, firstname.lastname@example.org