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West Fork Mayor Responds


September 10, 2010 by wcobserver


As Mayor of this town, I feel it is very important to defend our City and its group of employees and the volunteers that make up the City Council.  In recent issues of this paper there have been half truths, which also mean half lies, printed about our council and employees.

Let me start by clarifying information regarding the last council meeting.  The Council did have a 45 minute executive session which resulted in a unanimous vote of no confidence and a public request for the resignation of Susan Cooney, the elected City Clerk.  However, the council did not publicly humiliate the clerk and the vote of no confidence was not because the minutes were too lengthy.  Due to the executive session the City is unable to give the details of why the vote of no confidence was taken, however, I will say that there were multiple issues discussed with the clerk during the executive session and she was given the opportunity to resign during the executive session so that it would not have to be done in public.

We have a wonderful volunteer council that only wants what is best for this city.  You can be assured that this vote of no confidence was not taken lightly, definitely was not done out of spite or to be malicious.  After speaking to the Clerk about multiple issues, which the clerk was unwilling to change, the council felt it was necessary that the citizens be aware that they have no confidence in the clerk to perform her job duties as described in her job description.

Second, let me address the slamming editorial written a few weeks ago insinuating our City Business Manager and Water Superintendent, Butch Bartholomew, has no supervision and therefore has total control of the safety of our city’s drinking water.  The only factual part of this editorial was that Butch wears multiple hats, and there had not been a Water Commission meeting for 18 months.  As for supervision and safety of city water, each month we are required, by law, to send four water samples to the State Health Department.  We not only send four we send six each month, going above and beyond what is required.  We also send 3 sewer samples each month to Environmental Testing Group, we are required to report to Arkansas Natural Recourse Commission, the USDA, and keep up to date audits to ensure our funds are being used appropriately.

This is a wonderful city to live, work, and volunteer in, and I hate to think how many citizens have been discouraged from volunteering because they see the half truths and half lies this paper continues to print regarding the action of the council and employees.  I would also like to remind the citizens that there is always more than one side to every story.  If you are concerned about the stories you are reading in this paper contact your council members, contact me, or come to the meetings, see for yourself what a great group of people we have making decisions for our community.  It would be great to be able to concentrate on things that will make our city better and spend less time having to defend ourselves for doing our job.  I would like to publicly thank Butch and the Council for all the time and hard work they do for the City.

Jan Throgmorton


City of West Fork



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