IRON MOUNTAIN LAKE — Iron Mountain Lake Mayor Eugene Henson is hopeful he will have a replacement for Ward II Alderman Phil Fox after Thursday’s meeting. Fox resigned his seat on the board during the May 11 meeting.
When asked if he had any candidates in mind to replace Fox, Henson said he had not made any decisions as of yet. He said Fox resigned due to personal reasons.
Henson said in addition to Fox, City Clerk Julie Bennett also resigned after the May 11 meeting.
“They’re gone now and I’d rather not talk about them,” Henson said. “We do need some help real bad, I can tell you that.”
Fox said he resigned because he couldn’t go along with the way the board was operating.
“I was advised it would be in my best interest to resign,” he said.
Fox said he was advised by the Missouri Municipal League. He claims that the current board is making unethical decisions.
“Nepotism, for one thing,” he said. “The guy the board hired to take care of the roads is married to one of the aldermen. The board hired a police chief without advertising that the position was open in the local newspaper. The board entered into a deal to purchase fuel without soliciting for bids. They have fired a person without cause. They are doing so many things that aren’t right, I don’t want to be a part of it.”
Fox was the only incumbent re-elected to office in the April 7 election. He defeated Melinda Dicus for the seat.
Immediately following his mayoral win, Henson said Bennett would be replaced as soon as he was sworn in to office. However, Henson changed his stance and Bennett stayed on as city clerk. Bennett became the city clerk in November.
The board hired Jerry Hicks, Jr. on April 16 to serve as the police chief. Hicks previously served as chief of police from February of 2006 through July of 2008. He resigned from the position, stating he had another job opportunity.
Hicks replaced Michael Kemp who resigned on April 8. Henson publicly said following the election that Kemp would be out as chief of police. Kemp was sworn in as chief on July 22. He replaced Hicks who resigned.
Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at email@example.com.