Following the resignation of Ward 3 City Councilor Terry Willis Tuesday, the City has announced that it is currently accepting applications for potential candidates to serve the remainder of Willis’s term.
Willis has served on the Claremore City Council for almost 8 years and has also served as Deputy Mayor.
Reading from his letter of resignation, Willis said:
“I have served on the council for over 7 and a half years, and during that time the city council has taken many actions that have improved the quality of the infrastructure and services of the city and it’s livability. I have been privileged to help shape these actions and determine the future goals and vision of the city. I believe the city is now on a firm financial foundation and headed in the right direction. Accordingly, I believe that I have done my part to improve our community, and I also believe it is time for me to focus on other aspects of my life and allow someone else to take my place on the council and help the city continue to move forward. Accordingly, this letter will serve as my resignation from the Council, effective September 5, 2018. I love this city and appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to serve on the Council.”
Willis said that he was first appointed to the Council in a similar method as his predecessor will be, and served until the following election, when he was elected to the post.
“When I applied for this position, it was at the request of the late Mayor Micky Perry before he retired as the Police Chief,” Willis said.
Willis said that he was one of the last original council members to hire Jim Thomas as city manager, “and I’m proud of that decision.”
“My wife is going to be very happy that I’ll be home on some nights,” Willis said, getting a chuckle from the room.
Willis said that not only has he helped make improvements to public safety, the platform on which he ran, but he also has enjoyed learning about, and being useful in matters of public infrastructure.
“We appreciate you, and we understand that needs change and so forth,” said Mayor Bill Flanagan. “We’ll miss you, but we understand.”
During the vote to accept the resignation, Ward 1 Councilor Susan Kirtley expressed what seemed to be the sentiment in the room. “Sadly, yes.”
The procedure for appointing new members to the city council outside of election is founded in precedent instead of being written into the code of ordinances.
The council invites any resident of Ward 3 to submit a letter of interest or resume to the City Clerk’s office by Friday, September 14 at 5 p.m.
They will hold open interviews for the candidates during the regular meeting of the Claremore City Council on Monday, September 17 at 6 p.m.
They can either vote on the new councilor at that time or postpone the decision to the following meeting. If they do not fill the position with 30 days, Governor Mary Fallin may appoint someone.
The minimum qualifications for this seat are that you must be a registered voter of the City, a resident of Ward 3 for not less than 90 days and a resident of the City of Claremore for not less than 6 months prior to the filing period.
Members of the City Council are compensated $50 per meeting, including all regular, special and emergency meetings; not exceeding the rate of $100 per month.