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City delays alderman appointment

The new board of McMinnville Mayor and Aldermen took their places last night with a political newcomer being named vice mayor – but without anyone filling the vacant alderman spot.
Alderman Ben Newman was nominated by Mayor Jimmy Haley and unanimously voted into the position of vice mayor by board members Rick Barnes, Billy Wood, Jimmy Bonner and Mike Neal.
“I was shocked by the nomination,” said Newman. “I was asked if I would consider being vice mayor and I said I would, but I had no idea I would get the position. I’m happy to be here and honored to serve the citizens of McMinnville.”
The new board did not fill the vacant spot made with the appointment of Haley as mayor. Haley says although he had stated over the last two weeks the spot would be filled Tuesday night, he reconsidered.
“After taking time to think about it, I feel this decision is far too important to not be on the agenda,” said Haley. “I felt it would be better to wait until Dec. 11 so the item can be on the agenda.”
Haley made the announcement once the board meeting began. Newman says he is in favor of announcing at the current meeting items that will be discussed at the next meeting.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea,” said Newman. “It will give the public up to two weeks notice of what will be under consideration.”
Haley says not discussing items of importance until they are listed on an agenda is a change in procedure brought on by a recent controversy that began Sept. 25 with the renewing of city administrator David Rutherford’s contract and a complaint sent to Comptroller of the Treasury Justin P. Wilson about the lack of public notice.
The board’s next meeting is Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

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