Monterey Aldermen will fill the vacant second ward seat at the November meeting after a sometimes contentious discussion Monday.
The board offered two nominations to fill the seat Monday night, but Mayor JJ Reels voted twice to stop the decision. Farley’s motion to move forward passed 4-3. Then, Reels voted no to make it 4-4. Reels then exercised his ability as tie-breaker to deny the motion 5-4.
“We have filled the seats normally when one retires out, we refill it within the next month,” Alderman Mark Farley said. “I do not know what the reason why we are not refilling it now within the next month. We are dragging this out. We do not need to be dragging this out. We need this board to be represented in all four wards with two alderman not one.”
Farley said he worried that Reels would continue to use his power to overpower votes.
“I made sure I got in the book and understood what MTAS trained us on,” Reels said. “Saying that the mayor has a vote on all things brought before the board, and I have tie breaker. So, it got voted down.”
Reels said he simply felt there needed to be a vetting period to learn more about the candidates. Jim Whittaker and Shannon McGee were nominated to serve. Farley nominated Jim Whittaker and Alderman Amy Martin nominated Shannon McGee to serve the second ward.
“You have nominations, and then, you have a vetting period,” Reels said. “Then the next meeting is when you do the vote. I know the last three time it has happened it happened with me. I benefited from it, but it was not the right thing to do things.”
The board of Alderman will vote to fill the position during November’s meeting. The Municipal Technical Advisory Service is an University of Tennessee agency that provides assistance and training to municipal officials and employees.