Cookeville mayor election resolution put on hold

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – Citizens will have to wait a little longer to possibly vote separately for the Cookeville mayor’s position after Councilman Mark Miller announced at last night’s city council meeting that he would not be presenting his resolution at the next meeting.

“Due to the overwhelming negative response by the public to my resolution allowing the public to elect their mayor, I feel that the public has spoken,” Miller said. “I’m not going to present my resolution next week.”

Miller had proposed a resolution that called for the mayoral position to be elected by voters instead of appointed by the council.

“I want to pull it back a little bit to have more discussion and hopefully develop a stronger resolution,” said Miller to the UCBJ.

Vice-Mayor Laurin Wheaton and Councilman Eric Walker both had voiced to the UCBJ that they would like to have more discussion on the matter and to get input from the public.

Mayor Ricky Shelton has requested that Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) and Tennessee Municipal League (TML) provide examples of what other cities do and how they do it to assist the council in their discussions.

“We have great professional resources available to us,” Shelton said. “I have requested MTAS to provide data and research on how other cities, of similar size, in Tennessee structure their seats and elections. Also, MTAS will review our charter and offer appropriate options to the council for discussion and consideration for a potential charter change in the future. Once we receive all of that information, I would like for us to schedule a council work session to discuss and receive citizen input at a public hearing.”

It is unknown at this time if the information requested from MTAS and TML will arrive at the city before the next council work session scheduled for Dec. 2.

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