Joe P. Asher
The resignation of Benham Mayor John Dodd during a special meeting of Benham City Council and the council’s appointing of his wife and council member Shirley Dodd to serve out his term as mayor on Thursday has caused some tempers to flare.
Council Member George Massey disagreed with the course of action taken resulting in Shirley Dodd becoming mayor.
“I think all of it was done wrong,” said Massey. “Just like I said last night, I sympathise with Tater’s (John Dodd) sickness. Nobody wants to see anybody get sick. But just like I said in the meeting, two months ago when we went in closed session, he announced to all the council that Dec. 31 would be his and Shirley’s last day.”
Massey noted that had John Dodd resigned earlier, a mayor could have been chosen during the recent general election.
“Why wouldn’t you go ahead and decline as mayor back then when we could have gotten it on the ballot and got us a mayor?” said Massey. “That was not right, that was not right for the people. That was just a disgrace the way he did that.”
Shirley Dodd was not reelected to council in the Nov. 6 balloting.
“This was a set up,” said Massey. “He knows she (Shirley Dodd) couldn’t get on if it had been put on the ballot. He knows she couldn’t win because the people showed her in the November election that they did not want her on there for whatever reason. So he took another avenue. All this was already made up from the first time Doug (Robinson, a Benham council member) opened his mouth. I could see it coming then.”
Massey stated he believes proper procedures were not followed.
“I think it was done wrong,” said Massey. “I don’t see no need in rushing to appoint a mayor right now. The council has got this. And I also said that we don’t have but one month to go before the new council comes in. I say let’s just take time and look around in the community and see if anybody in the community would like to step up and take this.”
“I told them to their face that it was wrong — it was illegal — the way they were doing it was wrong and it was wrong to the people,” said Massey.
Massey stated the he does not have any plans to file a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.
“I don’t, but I think some people are looking into that,” said Massey.
“I would like the public to know, and what I’ve been saying the whole time I’ve been on the council, we are put in by the people. We’re there to represent them the best way we know how. God knows none of us know about how our health is going to be or anything like that. But regardless to that, we’ve still got a job to do,” said Massey.
Council member Eddie Creech said council did what was needed.
“We did what we are supposed to do,” said Creech. “We did what the people elected us for. We made the decision and it passed. I think we did a good job. Mr. Massey is pretty hot. He says it’s a set up. It was not a set up.”
Creech noted the mayor has a right to resign.
“He is within his rights to step down if he wants to. And it’s within our rights to elect who we want to be the mayor,” said Creech.
Shirley Dodd had no comment on Massey’s accusations, but said she will work with the council.
“I accepted the position to fill John’s term with honor. I feel like I have enough support there. I’ll do the best job I can do,” she said. “I will do the best I can do and will work with the people and try to do things the right way for the good of the community.”
Attempts to reach John Dodd were unsuccessful.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-5410 or email@example.com