Jonesboro City Council Vacancy

July 10, 2003 - Posted at: 1:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- The Jonesboro City Council will have a vacancy soon, and they do not know exactly how to fill it.

Around 5:30 Tuesday afternoon, Jonesboro Alderman Paul Copeland announced his resignation form his Ward 5, Position 2, City Council seat. Copeland had more than a year remaining in his term. Copeland's decision was based on a job opportunity in Marion.

"The decision for me to resign the position on the Jonesboro City Council was extremely difficult," stated Copeland. "I wish only the best for the citizens of Jonesboro, Mayor Brodell, and the current Council."

"I look forward to watching the city of Jonesboro continue to prosper," Copeland concluded.

Now Mayor Hubert Brodell and the City Council are faced with the dilemma of filling the vacancy.

According to Mayor Brodell, for a city of more than 50-Thousand, like Jonesboro, Arkansas State Code, Title 14, Section 42 spells out how to fill the vacancy.

The code states, "If the unexpired term of the Alderman exceeds one year, a successor shall be voted by electors of the ward, the City Council shall order a special election to be held within 60 days of the date the vacancy occurs."

Mayor Brodell believes this code could cause a problem. "The city of Jonesboro does not elect people by ward, they vote on all six of the wards of Jonesboro," Brodell said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Brodell consulted with Don Zimmerman with the Arkansas Municipal League.

"Because of this unclearness, Don and I both agree that we need to get an Attorney General's opinion to clear up the air," concluded Brodell.

Mayor Brodell plans on contacting a local Legislator on Thursday to allow the Attorney General to address the matter of filling the vacancy.