3 cities have open alderman seats

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Write-ins or appointments to fill vacant seats

Three Barry County cities have open alderman positions in the April 8 election, and if write-in candidates are not elected, the cities will have to fill the positions by appointment.

In Cassville, no one filed for the north ward position left by Darrell Ledenham, but one man has announced if he wins as a write-in, he will accept the position.

Jerry Marple, former high school principal and former owner of Willis Insurance, said he hopes to be elected by word of mouth as a write-in candidate.

"I just want to serve the people of Cassville and give back to the community," he said. "I think the [1/8-cent transportation] tax issue is very important, and I hope people support it. I plan to vote for it."

Bill Shiveley, mayor of Cassville, said Marple contacted him and expressed an interest, and he hopes a write-in candidate will fill the position. Ledenham said he is not running for reelection because he feels it's time to let someone else serve on the council.

"If no one is written in and wins, we will have to appoint someone," Shiveley said. "There's no time frame to do that, but we would want to do it quickly so we can have a full quorum and can do business, because if the other north ward alderman is gone, people in that ward would not have anyone representing them."

In Seligman, west ward Alderman Kelly Payne has moved outside of the city limits, making him ineligible for reelection.

Jerry Montgomery, mayor of Seligman, said he has never seen a council position without a candidate.

"I have heard of a couple people who want to be write-ins, so hopefully, that works out," he said. "I am pretty confident that if someone is written in, they will accept."

Brian Nichols, city clerk for Seligman, said the loss of Payne is a tough one for the city.

"Kelly works at the Beaver Lake Water District [in Lowell, Ark.], so he brought a lot to the table for us," Nichols said. "We will surely miss him."

Washburn is suffering from a situation similar to Seligman's, as east ward Alderwoman Amanda Crim has also moved outside the city limits.

John Tiedeman, mayor of Washburn, said he has yet to hear of any interested write-in candidates.

"We will just have to wait and see," he said. "If no one is elected, we will have to find someone to appoint."

Each of the open positions will be on the April 8 ballot, and voters may write-in any qualified and eligible candidate.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: