Cedarville Mayor Glenanna O’Mara will resign her position as of May 19, she announced Monday during a special city council meeting.
After having just returned from a two-week stay at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., O’Mara said it is necessary for her to resign her position as mayor to focus on her health.
O’Mara’s is one of four recent resignations from city positions in Cedarville, including Police Chief Larry Merrill, officer Rhonda Wheeler and Alderman Wendell Moore.
O’Mara will officially resign her position at the regularly scheduled city council meeting on May 19, she said.
"That gives the council six weeks to decide if they will do a special election - which I recommend - or appoint someone," O’Mara said.
Council members also will be looking to appoint a new alderman for the Ward 2 Position 2 seat, vacated by Wendell Moore April 21. Moore has been an alderman since at least 2011.
Moore retired from the position, he said, because he is unhappy with the actions of the other council members, John Odom, Kenneth McClendon and Tim Breshears.
"I don’t approve of the way the new city council is trying to run the city," Moore said. "They’re not trying to do it for the city. They’re doing it for personal agendas."
Moore is unhappy, he said, with a recent ordinance - passed in March - that reduces the amount the mayor can spend on non-routine items without approval from the city council, from a cap of $10,000 down to $5,000.
"They’re just tying the mayor’s hands too much for her to do her job properly," Moore said.
But Breshears said the change is not a big one, and helps the city fall in line with requirements by state auditors to tighten up areas of possible financial oversight.
Cedarville has been under observation by the state since its former treasurer Alicson Reding was investigated and charged with seven felony counts of theft of property, alleging she stole a total of $295,879.85 from the city since 2008.
Reding has since pleaded guilty to one count theft of property as the result of a plea-agreement, reimbursed the City of Cedarville $245,000, and was sentenced to 20 years probation and to pay remaining restitution, fines, fees and costs.
"This is the exact same ordinance the city has been running under for 10 years," Breshears said. "All we did was change it from $10,000 to $5,000."
McClendon suggested that Moore, who operated the city road grader while also serving as alderman, was upset about an anti-nepotism ordinance the council passed in February. It was passed in accordance with state law, Breshears said.
"We didn’t want to have that conflict of interest," Odom said.
Moore was upset about the ordinance, McClendon said, but remains unsure if it was the reason for his resignation.
"We offered Moore to keep his job as grader operator if he would step down as alderman," Breshears said. "But he refused. And then he resigned."
Breshears said both ordinances were passed "to clean up the city," and that legislative auditor have told the council that the city "is going in the right direction."
"We’re just doing what’s right for the City of Cedarville; we’re running the city like a business, like it should be," Breshears said. "That’s why I ran for this job - I was tired of people stealing money. Now we have things in place so that’s not going to happen here."
Anyone looking to fill the open alderman position should attend the May 19 city council meeting, O’Mara said.
City officials also will be looking to restaff the police department, as Wednesday will be the last for Larry Merrill as police chief.
Merrill was appointed by O’Mara appointed on Dec. 16. He was the sixth to hold the position in a span of almost two years since Police Chief David Goss stepped down in June 2013 because of complications from neck surgery.
Merrill’s resignation leaves the Cedarville Police Department bereft of officers, as Rhonda Wheeler resigned April 22 from her position as a volunteer reserve officer.
Crawford County Sheriff’s Department will cover calls in the city as its able until a new chief is found, O’Mara said.