Gordon looks to fill empty mayoral seat

Gordon looks to fill empty mayoral seat
Monday, the city council unanimously voted to strip Mayor Elbert Melton Jr. of his power and decision making authority for the town - giving the power to now Mayor Pro Tem Shanna Ray. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Gordon, AL (WSFA) - Gordon is one step closer to filling its empty mayor seat.

During Tuesday’s town council meeting, the floor was opened for nominations for the next mayor.

Mayor Pro-tem Shana Ray was nominated, but no vote was taken. Instead, the town will open the floor again at the March meeting before voting. Town attorney Clifford Jarrett confirmed that is normal procedure to allow citizens to provide councilors with any other possible candidate suggestions.

“Then they will vote from those names nominated for the person who will be the next mayor of Gordon to fulfill the remainder of the vacant seat,” said Jarrett.

Officials are working to fill the seat after former mayor Elbert Melton was convicted of voter fraud.

The town has until late March to choose a mayor or risk state intervention or be forced to have a special election. If the state intervenes, Gov. Kay Ivey could choose the next mayor of the town. She previously declined to appoint leaders to fill vacant seats and the town had to hold a costly special election. They’re working to prevent a repeat of that.

“This small community, just don’t have the funds right now to pay for it,” said Jarrett.

Some believe a special election is what the town needs to move forward.

“They need to get rid of the whole council board. They need to let people vote who they want to vote, do another nomination of different because the citizens of Gordon are not happy with the board,” said Stacta Smith.

The previous election cost $12,000 and was paid for by the county.

Melton is expected to be sentenced Feb. 20.

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