At the November meeting of the Greenwood City Council several citizens expressed their interest in filling the vacancy that will be left by Dr. Lee Johnson at the end of this year. Johnson has been elected to the District 75 Arkansas House of Representatives. Johnson has served on the Greenwood council since 2008.
According to state law whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of a council member in a city with a population of less than 20,000 at the first regular meeting after the occurrence of the vacancy, the city council shall proceed to elect by a majority vote of the remaining members elected to the council a council member to serve for the unexpired term. Johnson will be leaving with two years left on his term.
The election by the remaining members of the city council is not subject to veto by the mayor.
The person elected by the council shall be a resident of the ward where the vacancy occurs at the time of the vacancy.
The law goes on to say that the council can call for a special election to fill the vacancy of a term of exceeding one year.
As of now Johnson’s seat has not been vacated. Mayor Doug Kinslow stated that he has spoken to Johnson and stated that he plans to serve until the end of the year. The council is expected to accept his resignation at the December meeting the council will then either appoint a replacement in January or call for a special election.
Niles, who lost the election against councilman AC Brown, tossed his name into the mix. “1,089 citizens voted for me and that speaks volumes to me, that speaks volumes to the council that almost 1,100 citizens wanted me to be on the city council,” said Niles.
Robb has lived in Greenwood for the past 11 years and serves as a deputy for the Scott County Sheriff's Office. “I have a total of 29 years of law enforcement experience,” said Robb. “I am very interested in becoming the next councilman with your blessing.”
“I was born and raised here,” said Meeker. “I see this as a great opportunity to give back to my community, which that has given a lot to me over the years.” Meeker has worked with the Arkansas Game and Fish in the Wildlife Management Division since 2003.
Rice stated that she has worked in public accounting for 24 years. “Budgets, procedures and finance is what I do,” said Rice. “I just want to give back and this is the place where I can see that my skill set would fit the best.”
Alderman Rod Powell stated that former councilman Jim Newcomb had called him and expressed his interest in serving on the council. Newcomb served on the council from 2002-2004 and again from 2007-2010. “If they saw fit to give me another chance I would do everything I could to do it right,” said Newcomb. “I owe the citizens a lot. I can do a much better job and I know it.”
Councilman Rod Powell addressed those that expressed interest in the seat and explained that even if they are not selected or elected to the empty seat that there are many ways to serve the city government.
“We have spun off so many commissions,” said Powell. “There is a parks commission, there is a water/sewer commission, there is an a&p commission, there is a planning commission as well as the council and that is about 30 people that are involved in controlling the direction of Greenwood. So there are a lot of ways to get involved.”
Dr. Johnson has served on the Greenwood Advertising & Promotion Commission since 2012. He was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to the State Board of Health in 2016 and sits on the Committee on Emergency Medical Services, responsible for developing statewide EMS protocols. He has also served as volunteer medical director for the Good Samaritan Clinic and as a board member for the South Sebastian Boys & Girls Club.