by Vicki Wood
The City of Laurie Board of Aldermen called a special session Wednesday, May 18 to change a city ordinance relating to Merchant License fees and to appoint a new Mayor Pro Tem.
Mayor Allen Kimberling asked the Board of Aldermen to approve the appointment of Hugh Smith as Mayor Pro Tem to preside over the board meetings in the event he could not be in attendance.
City Attorney Andrew Renken told the Kimberling that the board has to appoint the new Mayor Pro Tem, as Alderman Jeff Chorpening’s term is expiring. The Mayor Pro Tem also acts as board president in absence of the elected official.
Alderman John Shepherd then called for a closed executive session to discuss the Mayor’s nomination of Smith, the board’s newest elected Alderman, as Mayor Pro Tem.
The Board of Alderman came back into open session and Kimberling made the announcement that he was submitting his resignation as Mayor of the City of Laurie effective immediately.
Alderman Pam Folker made the recommendation Alderman Hugh Smith be appointed as Mayor Pro Tem. Alderman John Shepherd seconded the motion. The vote was as follows: Alderman Pam Folker – yea, Alderman John Shepherd – yea, Alderman Jeff Chorpening – yea. Alderman Hugh Smith abstained.
Alderman Chorpening then turned the reigns over to Smith.
Discussion ensued as to the availability of the mayor’s office to any citizen showing interest in holding the position. Those individuals should notify the board by June 14, 2022. Mayor Pro Tem Hugh Smith’s position creates a vacancy in the Ward II seat. Smith will hold the Mayor Pro Tem position as Laurie’s acting Mayor with the resignation of Kimberling until the July Laurie Board of Aldermen meeting when a mayor will be appointed to fill the remaining two-year term.
Kimberling had served the board as Mayor entering his eighth year. He previously had held an Alderman seat.
Kimberling responded to a request for comment regarding his resignation after the extended executive session. “It was a mutual decision, my resignation. They want to run the city as a corporation. I worked for a corporation for 20 years, I didn’t want to run the city like that. Frankly, I’m relieved,” said Kimberling.
No further comment was received regarding reason for the resignation.
The board adjourned into another closed session and reconvened 10 minutes later with Smith proposing moving security camera to the wall behind the city panel as the current camera view only captures end caps of the panel.
The repositioning will allow a camera view of all board members in case of an incident. In other board discussion.
The board also approved recoding the doors to City Hall and removing Kimberling’s ability to sign on the city checking account, adding Smith to signing privileges. The special session was then adjourned for the evening.
Merchant Licenses have been amended from $25.00 to an annual fee of $35.00. Discussion on one day or special use vendors has been tabled until the June Board of Aldermen meeting. The measure passed unanimously. The City of Laurie’s Humvee fleet of two was sold by auction to two Texas residents, who purchased both vehicles for $15,555.54.