Interim Appointed After West Fork Mayor Abruptly Resigns

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Alderman Charlie Rossetti was chosen as interim mayor at a West Fork City Council meeting Tuesday night, following the abrupt resignation of Mayor Frances Hime.

Hime submitted a resignation letter on Tuesday (Nov. 12), which the council accepted at its meeting. Council members then appointed Rossetti interim mayor, vacating his alderman seat, city officials said.

The city will now wait for the Washington County Election Commission to set a special election to fill the permanent mayor slot. Rossetti will be eligible to run for mayor in that election.

Whoever wins that election will have a term that will expire in December 2014, according to city officials.

The mayor’s resignation letter on city stationary is addressed to the city’s aldermen and states she is resigning immediately. In the letter, Hime says she wants her paycheck sent to her home address. She notes she has not used any vacation time this year, then adds in handwriting, “Include earned vacation time in final paycheck.”

Also in the letter, Hime says her office furniture “is a donation from me to the city.”

“I will be out of state for a family member’s memorial,” the letter states.

Hime, who was serving in the final year of her first four-year term, did not give a reason for the resignation, said Kristie Drymon, city treasurer.

The mayor’s position is a part-time job that pays about $7,000 a year.

Hime has feuded with the City Council, which recently attempted to restrict her authorization to communicate with business and governmental leaders. The eight-member council also recently named Rossetti as president pro tempore. He said he was put in that position because Hime had been missing a lot of meetings.

Since Hime had more than six months remaining in her term, the Washington County Election Commission can schedule a special election to place someone in the position until the next regularly scheduled election in November 2014, said City Attorney Tom Kieklak.