JONESBORO — With Mayor Joy Day absent because of a death in her family, the Jonesboro City Council decided it couldn’t move forward with naming someone to lead the city in her stead Monday.
The council was scheduled to select its mayor pro tem for 2014 this week. The position is filled by a member of the council who is tasked with leading the city and presiding over council meetings whenever the mayor is unable to fulfill those duties.
But, Councilman Randy Segner asked his colleagues to postpone the selection of a mayor pro tem, as well as a decision on re-appointing city employees, setting the floating holiday date for the year and picking a time for a mayor and council retreat because Day wasn’t present. The mayor’s mother died over the weekend and her funeral was Tuesday.
Segner said there was nothing nefarious about the decision to hold on naming a mayor pro tem. It was just out of respect and courtesy to Day, he added.
“I thought the mayor ought to be here, but there was no particular reason really,” Segner said. “It wasn’t because I want to go out and campaign (for mayor pro tem) … There wasn’t anything critical at all in there.”
It remains to be seen when those issues will be taken up. There are two options available. One is to hold a called meeting later this month and the other is to wait until the February business meeting. The only item that might have any pressing importance is the re-appointment of city personnel for the year.
Councilwoman Pat Sebo, the mayor pro tem for 2013, echoed Segner’s sentiments and said even the re-appointment of personnel wasn’t pressing enough to require the council to move forward without Day. Since a new mayor pro tem has not been named, Sebo continued to serve in that role at this week’s meeting.
“There wasn’t anything in there that couldn’t wait until the mayor gets back,” Sebo said.
The setting of a retreat date is a non-pressing issue and the options for the floating holiday are dates in July and December. City employees have been asked to participate in a survey to see which date they would rather have as their floating holiday, but council members said some departments have still not finished querying workers.