BECKLEY, W.Va. – Beckley City Council meets Thursday night to name an interim mayor. That person will take the place of Emmett Pugh, who resigned, as of December 31, after 25-years in office.
Pugh agreed to a deal with the state Ethics Commission earlier this year to step down from office and pay $7,000, in court costs, to avoid ethics charges. There are still two and a half year’s left on his term.
City Council member Ann Worley said the meeting is not on their regular schedule.
“It is a special, called meeting, for the city council members only. It is not an election. It is an appointment by the council members,” stressed Worley.
There are six people vying for the job. Four of them are current city council members, including Worley. There are also two people from outside city government.
Worley said the controversy surrounding Pugh has been going on for the past year and a half. Council is searching for some stability.
“Council is looking for someone to be financially responsible, with the city, and move the city forward.”
She said she’s sad to see Pugh go but they’re looking at his departure, in a positive light.
“We need to put that in the past and move forward,” explained Worley. “Change is good!”
The council is working on a comprehensive plan due in June and then there’s the budget that must be complete in March. Worley said the interim mayor needs to hit the ground running.
As of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Beckley Recorder/Treasurer Byrd White took over as Mayor Ex Officio. Council plans to choose an interim mayor Thursday evening. That person will be sworn in to office at 1 p.m. on Friday and serve until June of 2016.