Vidette seeks to find new leadership

The Vidette City Council struggled to choose an alternate councilmember June 22 as they head toward deciding their next mayor.

“This is unusual,” City Attorney Chris Dube said of the situation. “It’s like a puzzle.”

Four people stepped up to fill one vacant and one potentially vacant council seat. The panel was tasked last week with agreeing on a candidate, who after being sworn in next month, will vote, along with the other three members, on who to appoint as mayor.

If Mayor pro tem Michael Pollex is appointed, then his council seat will also need to be filled. Therefore, the council had to agree on an alternate council member. However, the mayor’s office is up for grabs, and can be filled by anyone voted on by a majority of the panel members. Councilwoman Samantha Williams has publicly voiced her opposition to Pollex. However, Pollex, as part of the sitting council, can cast a vote for himself.

Council candidate J. R. Alley said, “There seems to be a lot of confusion in the town,” he said. “A lot of old folks worried about the town going back to the county. What I would like to see is some good, competent people come together with some good ideas.”

Brian Segrest appealed to the panel next. “I would love to see some internet,” he said.

Candidate Helen Walden did not appear in person but provided the council with a letter of interest instead. The last candidate was Josh Williams, husband of Councilwoman Samantha Williams.

The decision to appoint Alley to the first seat went smoothly with Michael, Monalisa Pollex and Samantha Williams voting unanimously. However, the panel went round and round voting on the rest of the candidates. After going through each of the candidates, the panel broke out into an emotional discussion.

“My recommendation is that we have to figure this out,” Dube said. “We have these people coming forward wanting to serve, somebody has to make a compromise here.”

Samantha Williams began by questioning Walden’s motive for applying.

“I don’t have anything against her,” she said. “But we need someone who not going to throw her hands up like we had before. I don’t want to get into that again, I want to move forward.”

Williams suggested the council would be better suited with a male councilmember who understands mechanical issues. She accused the Pollex couple of not voting for Josh Williams because he is her husband and would join her in opposition to Michael Pollex as mayor. She then voiced her concern about the Pollex couple both filling seats in the city’s government.

Councilwoman Monalisa Pollex and Councilwoman Samantha Williams got into a discussion about how they felt about each other’s husbands, which evolved into their feelings about former mayor Rosemary Baughman. Samantha Williams went on to express concern about the Pollex couple’s ability to handle the city’s finances, claiming she represented others in Vidette.

“I brought it up because you need to listen to what the city is saying,” said Samantha Williams in a loud voice while banging her fists. “We can’t vote you in if the city doesn’t want you as mayor.”

Finally, the panel agreed to compromise on Segrest as the alternative councilmember.

Next month, the panel of four, Michael and Monalisa Pollex, Samantha Williams and J.R. Alley, will vote on whom to appoint as mayor. It could very well be another decision that promises to be a difficult task for the council.

“What if it is a tie?” Samantha Williams asked laughing. “What do we do, keep going round in circles?”

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