Don’t rush mayoral selection

Published 9:30 am Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear editor:

Our town has recently experienced a tragedy in the sudden death of our mayor, Dearl Hilyer. To be taken at such a young age is truly difficult to understand. The citizens of Thorsby and his many friends will continue to support the Hilyer and Parrish families through this most difficult time. May God continue to bless both families.

Mayor Hilyer’s death has put the task of selecting a mayor for a full four-year term on the town council. The process works this way: The council will be sworn in on Monday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. at the Helen Jenkins Chapel. After they take office, they are able to conduct the town business. They must select a mayor pro-tem but have 60 days to appoint a new mayor. We have two new council members that are unfamiliar with town business, but this is normal.

I have spoken with several voters about this selection process. They and I feel that it is prudent to delay the selection process 30-45 days. This will give the voters an opportunity to participate in the selection of a new mayor. The council can choose a current council member or any interested voter on the town’s voter list for mayor. No one ever expected a situation such as this to arise, but it has, and sound, thoughtful leadership must be the first priority of the council.

We are at a critical time concerning our school situation in Thorsby. We must have strong leadership to break the cycle of promises today and nothing tomorrow. Again, I urge the council to take their time and appoint the most qualified person they can find. The mayor pro-tem can manage the town business for 30-45 days and allow the citizens of Thorsby to have a voice in the selection process.

The people in Thorsby have not lost their voice if the council will be patient in selecting the best person for the job. After all, this is for a full four-year term. We certainly deserve their best effort.

Please post your comments on the town of Thorsby’s website or Facebook.

Tom Bentley, Thorsby