The city of Cumberland has a new mayor, with the council appointing Charles Raleigh to fill the vacancy left by the recent resignation of former mayor Carolyn Elliott.
The appointment came at the end of an uncharacteristically short council meeting. Council member David Dixon was selected by the panel to chair the meeting.
Just before the meeting was adjourned, council member Yvonne Gilliam pointed out the council should address Elliott’s resignation.
Dixon read aloud Elliott’s resignation letter, which gave her reasons for resigning.
“The office of mayor requires full time attention,” read Elliott’s letter. “Due to unexpected and uncontrollable recent events and family obligations I am resigning from the office of mayor.”
In her resignation, Elliott thanked the city employees for their service in the face of reduced hours and overtime.
Elliott resigned the office on March 28.
“I want to comment on working with Carolyn,” Gilliam said. “It was the most peaceful time…I really appreciate what she did for the city and we will miss her. She did a good job.”
The panel then moved on to address the appointment of a new mayor.
Council member Jerry Gilliam made a motion to appoint Raleigh to the office for the remainder of Elliott’s term. The motion passed with no opposition.
City Attorney performed Raleigh’s swearing in before the meeting was adjourned.
“I’ll try to do the best job I can,” Raleigh said after the meeting was adjourned. “It’ll take me some time to get used to it. Everything she (Elliott) was doing I’ll try to do the best I can.”
Raleigh said he wishes Elliott well and hopes.
“I hope there’s nothing really wrong with the mayor (Elliott), and I hope everything will go good for her,” Raleigh said. “It really took me by surprise that she resigned.”
Raleigh said his priority as mayor will be the city’s finances.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Raleigh said.
The council will now have to fill the vacant council seat left by Raleigh when he accepted the appointment of mayor.
According the Kentucky League of Cities website, “if a vacancy occurs in a legislative body office, the remaining members of the legislative body are required to fill the vacancy by a majority vote within 30 days. Under KRS 83A.040(5), as long as at least one member of the legislative body remains, the responsibility of filling vacancies resides with the legislative body…If the legislative body fails to fill a vacancy within 30 days from the date on which it occurs, the power to fill the vacancy is affirmatively shifted to the Governor by operation of law in accordance with KRS 83A.040(6).”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde