(Leitchfield, KY) – The first of a suspected three resignations to the Leitchfield City Council came Monday evening, June 03, 2013, when Councilman Steven Elder pulled a letter of resignation from a green folder and read to the council.
Elder went on to tearfully express his gratitude to the people of Leitchfield and Grayson County for the opportunity he says the people gave him to start with a fresh slate and an bright, unlimited future.
Elder was elected to the council three terms saying he believed it was supposed to be: “I am convinced that I was supposed to be here. From some higher plan my time here was limited, but needed. I spoke with my mom on election night saying that I don’t think I’ll ever move back now because I’ve won 3 times and I feel accepted now. Two weeks after the election the opportunity to come back home presented itself. I believe that’s what was supposed to happen.”
Elder was only 28-years-old the first time the people of Leitchfield placed him 5th on the winning ballot, which he said attested to the fact that Leitchfield didn’t have a good ol boys club. He asked the council how many of them were under the age of 40 and how many had a business degree, saying “You’ve lost 100% of your council that has those two attributes. We need a diverse council. Women, men, retirees, working people, business people, young people. When I was elected, I was 28 years old. This is a call to the young people in this community to get involved and take a proactive approach to changing your community.”
Elder used a few famous quotes to express his final notes to the people of Leitchfield, including this quote by Gandhi, but a bit altered, “Be the change you want to see in Leitchfield.”
Elder said he knows he will be remembered the most for the restaurant tax saying, “Like I said at the last meeting, we should have presented it in a better way and maybe it would have gone over a little more smoothly. Nonetheless, the value and future value of the investments of that money will be felt for generations to come and I sit here now so proud to have voted, initiated and fought for the revenue that provides the funding for our festivals, parks and new pool. Had I of left and not ran for reelection, it may have gone away. The votes would’ve been here to take us back. I was suppose to win the last election, even if just to stay long enough to secure the funding of those investments we are making in this community.”
One last quote Elder used was, “Sometimes leadership is planting trees under whose shade you'll never sit. It may not happen fully until I'm gone. But I know that the steps we're taking are the right steps.”
He gave personal note to Mayor William Thomason, calling him his “Leitchfield Father,” before saying to all the people of Leitchfield and Grayson County, “The life you provided for my family cannot be put into words. Again, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. God Bless you all.”
Councilman Jerry Schlosser was quick to make a motion to add Margie Decker to the council. Decker ran for city council during the last General Election in 2012, and has requested Elder’s vacant seat. Schlosser was informed that Elder’s seat was not legally vacant until the meeting following the resignation.
According KRS 83A.040 Section 5, the council has 30 days to fill the vacancy one at a time, giving each new appointee reasonable notice of his selection as will enable him/her to meet and act with the remaining members in making further appointments until all vacancies are filled.
Mayor Thomason said he had several applications for the vacant seat and wanted the council to look over and consider all of them.
Councilman Schlosser could also be vacating his seat, if he chooses to take the position of Leitchfield Fire Chief.
Carl “Moon” Smith will retire June 30, 2013. Smith not only leaves the fire chief’s position available but he is leaving a seat on the Leitchfield Utilities Commission vacant.
That vacant seat could be filled by a third city council member, who has remained anonymous at this time. Mayor Thomason said in a former meeting those decisions will have to be made by July 1, 2013.