Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Mayor of Ludlow vows to battle ouster

'We're not going to let them do it without a fight'

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LUDLOW — The mayor has continued to represent the city despite recent health problems, and will fight City Council's attempts to remove him from office, his attorney says.

        “We may not be able to stop” council from removing Mayor Tom Stacy, “but we're not going to let them do it without a fight,” attorney Eric Deters said Tuesday.

        On Monday, City Council voted 5-1, with Councilwoman Sharon Dietz dissenting, to set a hearing to determine if Mr. Stacy should be removed for excessive absenteeism.

        Since the council was elected nearly two years ago, the mayor and council majority in this city of 4,700 have disagreed on a number of issues.

        Temple Juett, a staff attorney for the Kentucky League of Cities, said state law requires a unanimous vote of council to remove a mayor from office.

        “There has to be substantial evidence to support that removal,” Mr. Juett said. “It can't be done arbitrarily.”

        Mr. Deters said he will ask City Council to postpone Monday's hearing because he is on vacation then.

        In calling for the hearing, Councilman Fred Brooks said the mayor has not attended a council meeting since April 27. Council meets twice a month and held three special meetings in May and June.

        Mr. Brooks and other council members said the mayor has not told them why he has missed so many meetings.

        But Mr. Deters said council members know why Mr. Stacy has been absent, and are being insensitive in seeking his removal.

        In May, Councilman Ron Wofford asked council to consider removing Miss Dietz from her council seat, after she missed seven meetings in two months.

        When Miss Dietz and her attorney attended the meeting where her removal was to be discussed, council dropped the issue.

        “This council spends more time trying to remove its own members than it does addressing the city's problems,” Mr. Deters said.


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