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Friend or foe?: Despite seeking her recall, Mayfield nominates Herbel for vice mayor

Staff writer

Although Mayor David Mayfield and his wife are sponsors of a petition to recall her, Mayfield nominated Ruth Herbel as vice-mayor on Monday.

That was after he asked council member Jerry Kline whether he wanted the role and Kline passed.

Council voted 5-0 to appoint Herbel.

The Mayfields and other sponsors — Kathern Swan, Margaret Wilson, Morgan Makovec Looney, and Marion electric supervisor Steve Hart — have accused Herbel of violating the Kansas Open Meetings Act by texting council members Zach Collett, Chris Costello and Kline on Nov. 3 and violating her oath of office by revealing executive session information to the public via Record publisher and editor Eric Meyer.

Organizers have until May 8 under state law to file their petition, which requires 201 valid signatures. Election officer Tina Spencer has 30 days after that deadline to verify signatures.

A special election, which would be held between June 5 and July 5, would cost Marion $4,000, Spencer has said.

Spencer said Tuesday that the recall committee had not contacted her, and signatures had not been submitted.

Herbel’s term expires in January. Anyone interested in running for her seat would need to file for election by June 1.

“Why, sure I was,” Kline said when asked whether he was surprised that Mayfield nominated Herbel.

He declined to say why he was surprised.

“You know why,” was all he would say.

Mayfield and Herbel have sat at the same council table since sponsors filed the petition. They often have squabbled, and Mayfield at times has cut her off, telling her she would have to wait until another point in the council’s agenda to convey concerns.

Recent meetings have been less acrimonious.

Last modified April 6, 2023

 

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