Who is or will be the mayor of Ellerbe after the abrupt resignation of Olivia Webb from the top post last week?
Perhaps no one.
Election officials are advising the town council that it has several options, one of which is not having a mayor until the November 2013 election.
Mayor Pro-Tem James “Buddy” Cooper may step up to fill the position, but only if he has to. The Ellerbe town council has been deliberating on how to proceed without a mayor.
“We had a town clerk check into it this week,” said Cooper on Tuesday. “She said we could do it two ways; leave the position open and have me fill it or choose someone to fill it. I don’t know which way we are going. We will decide by the August meeting.”
Cooper said he isn’t interested in being mayor, but will fill the seat if the council wants him to. According to Cooper, the council does agree that a mayor may not be needed for the remainder of the term.
“If I stay on (as mayor) my term will be up in November of 2013,” said Cooper. “I won’t be running for mayor. Whoever fills it now will only be there until November 2013.”
Unless someone steps up to fill the seat, Cooper will do so, but reluctantly.
“We don’t need to fill that seat,” said Cooper. “I’m not looking forward to filling that seat. You’re only talking about a year and four months.”
Council member Brenda Chambers feels differently about the open seat.
“I think it’s a need that we have (a mayor),” said Chambers on Wednesday. “We could possibly leave it open for now. We don’t know as of yet what we are going to do. I think we’ll just wait ‘til August to see what happens.”
Chambers has been an Ellerbe Town Council member for 15 years.
Several calls made earlier in the week by the Daily Journal to other Ellerbe town council members were not returned by deadline on Wednesday.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.