Joe P. Asher
Citing health problems, Benham Mayor John Dodd resigned his position during a special called council meeting on Thursday.
Before casting his vote to accept the resignation, council member George Massey questioned the timing of Dodd’s decision.
“I am sorry to hear about the mayor’s sickness,” said Massey. “Why wasn’t that done before so it could have been put on the ballot for the people? That’s the only thing I’m saying.”
An audience member asked Massey if Dodd could have known two months ago he would be forced to retire.
“He said in the meeting, and rest of the council knows, that Dec. 31 would be his and his wife’s last day,” said Massey.
Dodd’s wife and council member Shirley Dodd responded to Massey’s comments.
“There’s things you don’t know about John Dodd. He has to do this,” said Shirley Dodd. “Now, he has resigned and this is a special called meeting that needs to go on.”
“It still leaves the people in a situation,” said Massey.
Council member Eddie Creech added his perspective.
“Let me throw my two cents in. When a man’s told that he’s going to have to quit his job, we don’t know when it’s going to happen. They told him that he no longer is capable and he’s stepping down. He didn’t know it until it came down just the other day.”
After some heated discussion, the council unanimously approved a motion to accept Dodd’s resignation.
Massey advised that the council had to appoint a member to chair the meeting. Council member Doug Robinson was chosen by the panel to chair the meeting. Massey cast the only opposing vote.
Creech then made a motion nominating Shirley Dodd to serve out her husband’s term as mayor. This move caused a heated disagreement among council on whether a new mayor could be appointed immediately.
“You can’t do what you want to,” said Massey.
Many in the audience stated that the move to appoint Shirley Dodd mayor was not legal, with others stating an opposing opinion. The council voted, with Shirley Dodd abstaining. All but one of the remaining council members voted to appoint Shirley Dodd to fill out the remainder of the term. Massey protested the vote.
“This is not in order, and you all know it’s not in order,” exclaimed Massey. “Of course you’re going to do what you’re going to do anyway, I know that. But you all go right ahead and do what your going to do. But it will come back.”
The council passed the motion naming Shirley Dodd mayor. Massey refused to cast a vote.
“This is a set up from the start,” said Massey.
The meeting was adjourned shortly after the motion passed.
KRS83.040 states no vacancy by reason of voluntary resignation in the office of mayor or on a legislative body shall occur unless a written resignation which specifies a resignation date is tendered to the legislative body. The resignation shall be effective at the next regular or special meeting of the city legislative body occurring after the date specified in the written letter of resignation.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org