FOREST PARK — Corine Deyton, the mayor of Forest Park for nearly seven years, will resign for health reasons, effective Oct. 15, City Manager John Parker said Wednesday.
Mayor Pro-Tem Sparkle Adams will assume the mayor’s responsibility until a special election can be held to replace Deyton, who “felt her health was not the best,” Parker said.
“She wanted to be in a condition where she could give the city the best she had,” Parker said. “It was sad to see her resign halfway through her second term as mayor, but if she felt that way then I have to believe that it was in the best interest for both her and the city. You hate for someone find it necessary to terminate their term before it is up. We know that she will continue to serve the city as best she can, even though she will not be a member of the mayor and council.”
Parker said Deyton has some projects she wants to complete before her departure.
“She said there were several things she wanted to take care of before she left, that’s why there is a small delay,” he said.
Deyton has been on the city council for over 10 years, according to Parker. Her late husband, Jack Deyton, was a city council member.
“He died unexpectedly, and when he passed away she ran for his unexpired term, in the ’90s,” said Parker. “She along with all of the city council members lost their seats after the adult entertainment came to town. She was out office until about seven years ago, when she ran for mayor and won.”
Parker described Deyton as a strong leader but not domineering.
“She would lead you toward the decision she would like, but you felt you made the decision because you wanted to,” Parker said with a chuckle.
“She would ask us, ‘Well, what do you think about this?’ and you would talk yourself right into doing exactly what she wanted you to do. She had a very interesting way of doing that. Not everybody has that technique.”
One of Deyton’s major projects was to see the closure of former United States Army base, Fort Gillem. The base officially closed Sept. 15, 2011.
“She wanted to see it through in a professional, honest manner and with the utmost of integrity throughout the process,” Parker said.
“We are scheduled to transfer the real estate that Fort Gillem sat on, which was about 11 acres, by the end this year. It will be transferred to the local redevelopment authority.”
Deyton initiated the redevelopment of the Main Street Corridor, a 20-year program, for downtown Forest Park about five years ago.
Parker said he became city manager of Forest Park for the first time in 1980. His relationship with the Deytons began in 1982, when Jack became a member of the city council.
“I worked with her after she took office as a city council member,” he said. “She invited me back as city manager when she became mayor.”