Elizabethtown holds first meeting since mayor's death
Elizabethtown, Ky (WDRB) -- Ten days after Elizabethtown lost its mayor to a massive heart attack, the city council reconvened for the first time. Despite the sadness, they all said that the show must go on-- and that's exactly what Mayor Tim Walker would have wanted.
With a prayer and moment of silence, the Elizabethtown city council began their first meeting without a leader Monday. "It's going to be hard to look at that chair and know that he is not there," said council member Tony Bishop who said he is still in shock over the mayor's death ten days ago.
A framed picture took its place behind Mayor Tim Walker's name plate, as the council approved his budget. "He would say, 'you don't have to worry about me not being here, you just go ahead'. And so, that's what we have to do is go ahead," said Bishop.
From a downtown revitalization to the completion of a major sports complex, Mayor Walker left big shoes to fill. "Look at what that man did in a short period of time, and this city can move forward that's what he would want," said council member Ron Thomas.
Ahead of the council entering a closed door meeting regarding the vacancy left by Walker's death, local businessman Carl Swope of the Sam Swope Auto Group stood up and asked that the leaders explore options and opinions outside the doors of city hall before making a decision on a new leader. "Giving it some time and seeking the council of some influential groups that work to make this a quality community would be a good process," said Swope.
By state law, the council has 30 days from the day of death to fill the position. If they do not make a decision in that time, the Governor will step in and appoint someone.
A closed door meeting Monday did not result in the election of a new mayor, but council members said the talks were productive.
As the council begins discussions on filling the vacant position, they say they will keep Walker and his passion in mind. "Tim gave his heart literally and figuratively to this city and he drove himself extremely hard everyday, but he did it because he loved the city," said Thomas.
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