In response to your article regarding my actions as the mayor and the letter to the editor, I feel a response is in order to protect my integrity and that of my decision making Graham Whatley, our newly acquired lawyer.
First, I have lived in Campbellsburg for the past 13 years, and married a lifelong Henry County girl, Melodye James. I know most of the attorneys here, and I certainly respect them and understand their individual expertise. I sought to talk to one local attorney but was unable to make a connection at the time. I did not feel like our legal issues could wait and therefore felt that at that time it needed to be dealt with forthrightly. But furthermore there are times and there are needs in which it is most advisable to reach outside our local fold for advice. Now is one of those times. I note the inference by Mr. (Rex) Morgan that because I was appointed by the council, rather than elected by popular vote, that there should be greater deference to the council of the legal powers of the mayor in relation to the council. There was certainly no action by me outside of the powers of the mayor. My intentions were to notify the council of my decision but before I could return to Campbellsburg the word was out and one of the council members was calling me to question my actions. I would remind voters that I had in fact been on the council myself for some three years and mayor since last July, I am intimately aware of the powers of the council in relation to the mayor.
There is no doubt that Joe Yates did a fine job, and I sincerely thank him for his service, as our city attorney. Right now we need an attorney who knows municipal law.
We have significant issues before us which must be resolved, and it would be contrary to my oath as mayor to not act in the best interest of the City of Campbellsburg. Some actions may be unpopular, but will be ultimately best for our citizens. In fact, Mr. Whatley understood this and is why he was willing to serve us under the same terms as have existed since 1999. Frankly, Mr. Whatley was a little uncertain whether he wanted to work with us. There is travel involved for him and frankly not a great deal of money. I do not believe a single council person who has spoken to Mr. Whatley or heard him advise us so far has disputed his knowledge and willingness to be responsive to our legal requests.
I would expect those who asked me to take this position to show their own personal confidence in their decision. I know my belief is that those who are on the council are working on passing ordinances and showing leadership that is in the best interest of Campbellsburg. Do not think for one moment my resolve has changed because I am now the mayor. Again, I would remind everyone that the hiring of an attorney is exclusively within the power of the mayor in Campbellsburg, and I have exercised that power.
My vision as the mayor for our city is that we as citizens are safe. That we together create a vibrant community where people want to visit and live. Where we work to serve each other and maximize our own potential as a community. I continue to look forward to working with the City Council of Campbellsburg to accomplish these goals. I want to thank everyone for their support during sometimes trying times.
Mayor of Campbellsburg