City officials say Tontitown is in trouble, after a contentious meeting led to the mayor’s resignation Wednesday night.
Alderman Henry Piazza says the mayors resignation is not official until it’s approved by the city council.
Mayor Tommy Granata quit his position with the city at Wednesday’s City Council meeting after the council appointed a new recorder/treasurer who the mayor had voted against in the past, said Alderman Sunny Hinshaw.
“Well he was upset about the appointment of the recorder treasurer, because he said a couple of months ago that’s not what we need, that’s not what Tontitown needs,” said Alderman Henry Piazza.
“I don’t blame him for quitting,” Hinshaw said after the mayor resigned in frustration. “I’m heartsick over this.”
The council voted to appoint Alicia Collins to handle the city’s finances. Collins lost a contested appointment to a University of Arkansas student last year after it was revealed Collins filed for bankruptcy earlier in the year.
Aldermen also said at the time that Collins’ appointment could create a conflict of interest with the city’s Water and Sewer Commission. The city was debating at the time whether to disband the commission, and Collins was a Water and Sewer employee who may have faced the decision to approve a legal petition to limit her workplace’s power.
Aldermen also voted Wednesday to remove the city’s administrative assistant position, although the Administrative Assistant Cathy Mantegani was retained as an undefined city employee.
Mantegani resigned Thursday, pointing out several issues with the city. In her letter, Mantegani chides city officials for counterproductive personal attacks.
“Perhaps if everyone stops the bad-mouthing at the same time, the nastiness will stop, and we can get on with the business at hand,” the letter states. “Declare an ordinance for a day of rest from the incessant finger wagging and threats.”
She also laments Granata’s resignation, writing, “Tommy is honest, kind and works to build a consensus. He only wanted the best for Tontitown as I hope you do.”
The resignation letter, in email form that was originally sent to aldermen, also states, “I am certain that not one of you could do the administrative assistant’s job.”
Hinshaw said Granata is hurt and disappointed by the council’s recent turn of events. Without a mayor or administrative assistant and with a new police chief, Hinshaw said she worries Tontitown may be at a new low.
Piazza says he wants Granata back as mayor.
“The mayor is a good man, he’s honest and wants to work for the community and the citizens but they won’t let him,” said Piazza.
“Tontitown is imploding,” Hinshaw said.