New vice mayor for Rockwood?

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Evans still in, but mayor says ‘we need a change’

By Cindy Simpson

Rockwood city elections have been moved to coincide with the gubernatorial elections in 2014.
In the meantime, term extensions were granted for Mayor James Watts and members of Rockwood City Council whose seats were due to be decided this past June.
In Watts’ opinion, however, the same is not true for vice mayor, the title held by Peggy Evans.
“Very simply, her term expires on July 1,” Watts said Friday. “I’m going to nominate someone else to serve the remaining months of that term.”
Evans, in the midst of serving her first Rockwood City Council term, has had the vice mayor title since she took office in July 2009.
Though her City Council term continues until November 2014, the same isn’t true of her pro-tem status, Watts said.
“I feel like we need a change,” he said when asked why Evans wouldn’t merely continue in the role.
Evans would not comment about the issue, which is on the agenda for today’s Rockwood City Council meeting.
Tradition in Rockwood for the past number of years has seen the title given to the member of council who receives the highest number of votes in a year that also involves the mayoral race.
Watts said the vice mayor position does not necessarily go to the highest vote getter in the most recent election.
“That is the most misunderstood position in the city of Rockwood,” he added.
Rockwood City Charter gives the vice mayor power to run the meetings in the absence of the mayor, Watts said, and to oversee a meeting in which nominations would be taken for the mayor’s seat.
Other council members whose terms are set to expire in November 2014 are Pete Wright and James Nuckols.
Wright was elected in 2011 to serve the remainder of a four-year term left vacant by the 2010 death of first-time Council member Stan Wassom.
Wassom’s widow, Judy, was appointed to finish out his term, but she died only a few months later. Krystal Hennager, appointed to replace Judy Wassom, did not seek election to continue the term.
Nuckols was appointed last month to fill the remainder of a four-year term left vacant by the death of Bill Thompson.
Thompson, also a first-time Council member, died June 16.
Today’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. in Rockwood City Hall.