Rockwood charter gives no provisions for vice mayor title

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By Cindy Simpson

Rockwood doesn’t have a new vice mayor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t.

The Roane County News mistakenly reported that the top vote-getter in Rockwood City Council elections is named vice mayor. In the June 7 city race, Jason Jolly polled the highest number of votes.

However, it was later clarified that Rockwood’s tradition is for the top vote-getter on election years with a mayoral race will be nominated as vice mayor.

“The tradition has been we usually just elect one and let them serve four years,” Mayor James Watts said.

That would mean that current Vice Mayor Peggy Evans would retain her title for the remainder of her term, which expires at the same time as that of Watts.

Officials have said there is nothing in the charter that mandates this tradition.

In fact, a search through the charter found at the city’s website mentions vice mayor only a few times. All references are made to merely identify the vice mayor at the time some charter amendments occurred.

The vice mayor identified in those cases was Darryl Meadows, Evans’ son-in-law.

Watts said he believes council members could request a new vice mayor.

“If four members of council want a new vice mayor we’ll have a new vice mayor,” Watts said.

“We will look at everything between now and July 1,” he added.