Thorsby Town Council will address mayor situation Monday

Published 2:44 pm Friday, November 2, 2012

Thorsby’s next mayor could be chosen by the town’s council at its meeting Monday.

Mayor Dearl Hilyer died Oct. 16, just as he was set to begin a second term.

John Hollis Jackson, the attorney who advises the town, said the council has two options: it can choose a new mayor from among the current council members, or choose someone who is a registered voter in the town but is not on the council.

The council is charged with naming a replacement within 60 days of Hilyer’s death, Jackson said. If the council does not name a new mayor to finish the current four-year term, Gov. Robert Bentley would then have 90 days to do so.

In the unlikely event that the task of finding a replacement fell to the governor, and he did not do so within the time limit, Chilton County’s probate judge would set up a new election.

Jackson said another election is unlikely.

“They have the authority to make a decision Monday night, and I expect them to do so,” he said.

The first order of business Monday will be to swear in the new council. Council members Randall Higgins and Roger Marcus will replace Willis Britt and Tara Jewell, respectively.

Jewell challenged Hilyer for the mayor’s office and lost in the August municipal elections.

Incumbents Neil Benson, Jean Nelson and Marvin Crumpton will return to their seats on the council.

After the swearing-in, the council will elect a mayor pro-tempore, who would serve in the mayor’s position until a new one is named. The mayor pro tem, chosen from among the council members, would also be first in the line of succession if the new mayor became incapacitated.

Nelson served as mayor pro tem during the previous council’s term. She filled in for Hilyer at council meetings during his illness.

The swearing-in will be at 5 p.m. at Helen Jenkins Chapel. Following the ceremony, the council will travel to the Thorsby Annex to hold its regular meeting.