Exeter alderman resigns due to health
New alderwoman appointed to seat, will serve until next election
A fresh face took her seat at the Exeter City Council Tuesday, as Christa Metter was appointed by the council as north ward alderwoman, replacing Keith Johnson, who recently resigned.
In a letter dated Sept. 23, Johnson said due to failing physical and mental health, he wished to resign from the city council, effective immediately. Johnson has served on the council since 2010, and his term is set to expire in April 2016. Metter has been appointed to the position until that election.
"I feel as though this is the best thing I can do for the people, whom we swore to make decisions for," Johnson said in the resignation letter. "It was a pleasure working with the council, getting several things done. I'm wishing the best for the council and the people of Exeter."
Myrna Eisenbraun, Exeter city clerk, said Johnson was a solid alderman who never had an agenda, but always looked out for his constituents.
"Keith had a lot of input and good ideas, and he is a smart man," she said. He brought to the table what his constituents asked him about, and that made him a good councilman.
"We will miss his sense of humor, and we'll still see him around. He is very easy to get along with."
Metter said she was approached by Eisenbraun and Alderman Jeff Scott about filling the post until April 2016, when the north ward position comes up for election.
"I was approached about a week ago, and I've had an interest in serving before, but I have never run," she said. "I love this community and knew it needed help. I'm honored they thought of me, and I love the town and want to do all I can for it."
Eisenbraun said city officials were searching for someone in the north ward to fill the post temporarily, and Scott suggested Metter because he works with her husband.
"We know they are sensible, level-headed people, and we had to find someone who's schedule would allow for it," Eisenbraun said. "[Metter] works at L&L, so she knows a lot of people, and if people in her ward see her there, they can bring issues up to her."
Metter said she has lived in Exeter for 10 years, and she has good relationships with people in town and those already in the city's government. She said the next few months will determine if she will run for election to the position in April 2016.
"I want to see how well I can do and make sure I'm right for it," she said.
The only order of business left for Johnson is removing his name from the city's bank accounts. Eisenbraun said he was added to the accounts last month, and he has not signed any checks.
"At this point, we'll probably wait until the next election before adding anyone else on," she said. Eisenbraun said with her, Alderman Jim Morse, Alderwoman Rhonda Scott and Mayor Rusty Reed on the accounts already, it should not be necessary to add anyone else.