By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Last Tuesday night’s executive session last 15 minutes instead of 10 back in 2017, and District Court Judge Tony Yocom was on the left side of the room instead of the right, but little else changed as Steve Montgomery was returned for another two years as Hope Mayor, and Don Still as Vice Mayor at Tuesday night’s opening meeting of the Hope City Board for 2019.
In the 2019 version of his opening remarks, Montgomery said, “It has been an honor to represent you guys in the last two years. And, let me point out that we have seven people on this board, seven voices, and seven equal votes on this board. Each of us represent the whole town as a whole, and I appreciate everything you guys do as well.”
Montgomery also acknowledged the newest Board member, Dr. Linda Clark, who was also sworn in Tuesday. Clark assumed the Ward 4 seat, succeeding retired incumbent, Don Hall.
Clark’s arrival completed a unique three-generational family members in public service with Doris Brown, Clark’s mother, starting a new term this year as a returning Justice of the Peace on the Hempstead Quorum Court. And last year, Clark’s daughter, the Honorable Doris L. Pryor, was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge in Indiana.
With Montgomery, Still was returned again as Vice Mayor. In his comments, Still thanked Montgomery for his service as Hope Mayor, and he said “I do appreciate being on the board as long as I have. I do think that each board member does represent the city, not just their district. If anybody does have comment or problem, any board member would be one to go to talk about your problems.”
Also sworn in was Ward 1’s Board Member Mark Ross, who was returned to office without opposition. Both Montgomery and Still had won easy victories over challengers in November.
The other big news coming out of Tuesday was Montgomery’s announcement of forthcoming city board and commission appointments, the most consequential of which is Dennis Ramsey’s expired seat on the Hope Water and Light Commission. In January 2016, Ramsey was appointed to a three-year term on the HWL Commission.
Other commissions and boards cited by Montgomery on Tuesday night up for discussion included: Planning & Zoning Board (Mike Smith and Kathy Akin), the Hope Housing Authority, which must submit a name in 45 days, the Tourism Commission (Juan Rivera and Trevor Coffee), and the Airport Advisory Committee.
“All of these appointments, we will have to take a look at next week,” Montgomery said.
Due to the holidays in January, City of Hope board of directors meet in back-to-back weeks; they are scheduled to meet again this Tuesday night, January 15.