Four new nominations to fill the vacant seat on the Verona board of aldermen were voted down at last week's meeting, leaving the council still with a mayor and three aldermen.
Mayor Joseph Heck nominated Pam Dorton, Rebecca Maples, Joyce Faulk and Claude Carr as candidates to take the place of Brittany Thomas, who resigned her position in recent months. But opposition from aldermen Linda Gates and DeDe Hutson continues to leave the seat vacated, as motions to appoint each nomination fall flat without a second.
At last Tuesday's regular monthly meeting, Heck stated he has sent letters to Gates and Hutson requesting suggestions to fill the seat. Hutson said she had mailed her suggestions back, but Heck stated he had not received them. Gates told the mayor she had asked around to see if anyone in the city's Hispanic community was interested, with no results. She also said former alderman Doug Culver was uninterested, as well.
Later in the meeting, a member of the public asked how long the board would continue to operate with an open seat. Heck said it could go on for several more months, when the matter could be added to the November ballot.
In the meantime, the three-person board voted on several items in new business, including an ordinance to set the tax level for the city at .8325, as directed by the state auditor's office. The motion passed unanimously.
The board also discussed the need for a stop sign at Washington and Second Street. Heck said he wished to make the corner a four-way stop, which would require the city to purchase two stop signs and a "stop ahead" sign. The motion passed with a 2-1 vote as alderman Michael Haynes voted "no."
Other motions passed on the night included:the purchase of pager batteries for the fire department for a total of $97.90 the purchase of items for the fire department to hand out at the school during Fire Prevention Week in October. Items would total around $700, leaving $800 remaining in the department's budget for the year. the purchase of a $250 light bar for the street department work truck. a resolution for the city to adopt the Lawrence County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan has been updated since the city last adopted the plan in 2014. a motion to return more than $23,000 in funds from FEMA. The city would have to meet certain requirements to utilize the funds, which would cost more overall.
After meeting in closed session, the board would adjourn until the September meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the 26th at city hall.