Junior Medley is no longer a McMinnville alderman. He presented his resignation letter at city hall Thursday before noon.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “I knew nothing about being in office so it was an enlightening experience for me. I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to serve as alderman, and appreciate the citizens placing their trust in me to do so.”
Medley informed board members weeks ago of his intentions to move to Viola and make it his permanent residence in August.
The law requires members of the board to have their permanent address, usually determined as the one where their mail is delivered, inside the city limits.
Medley could have left his permanent residence as one inside the city and remained on the board for the balance of his term. He says he never considered this as an option because it is not fair to the citizens of McMinnville.
“I don’t feel you can represent the citizens of McMinnville if you are not really here,” he said. “We have members of the board that work out of town. They rely on other board members to keep them informed of what’s going on. I didn’t want to do that. I don’t feel that’s fair to the people you are supposed to represent.”
Because Medley chose to resign prior to moving to Viola, his vacancy will be on the ballot in the upcoming election. If he had waited until after Aug. 6, it would have been too late for the ballot and the seat would have been filled by board appointment.
With Medley’s resignation, four of the six alderman seats will be up for grabs. Election administrator Donna Smith says the vacant seat will not be treated like the other three seats, which are given to the top three vote-getters in the race.
“Individuals wanting to fill the remaining two years in Medley’s four-year term will have to run specifically for that position,” Smith said.
Aldermen Rick Barnes, who had decided to not run for re-election when his term expires this year, is toying with the idea of vying for the Medley vacancy.
“I’m thinking about it,” Barnes said. “I haven’t made my mind up yet. I don’t want another four-year term, but I would be OK with finishing Junior’s term. I’ll let you know when I decide.”
Medley’s resignation marks the first time in 24 years an alderman has voluntarily left his seat.
“I can’t tell you when was the last time someone resigned,” said city recorder Shirley Durham. “I can tell you no one has resigned since I’ve been here. I started with the city in 1988. In 24 years, we’ve never had an alderman resign.”
The individual who wins Medley’s vacancy will be up for re-election in two years.