Mayor: Council Winner Elected In Wrong Ward Agrees Not to Serve

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One of two women who won Farmington City Council seats in the wrong ward has signed a letter agreeing she will decline the seat, Mayor Ernie Penn said.

In a meeting with city officials the day before Thanksgiving, Amy Hutcherson signed a withdrawal letter stating she will not attempt to serve in the district, Penn said.

Hutcherson, seen here in a photograph from her Facebook page, could not be reached for comment.

The other winner in the Nov. 6 election, Elizabeth Mann, told 5NEWS this week she is waiting to hear from the Arkansas secretary of state on whether she must step down. Mann did not attend the Nov. 21 meeting with city officials, though her husband attended in her absence.

New City Council members are scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 14.

City Attorney Steve Tennant, consulting with Arkansas Municipal League officials and others, has determined that City Council members must live in the district they represent, Penn said.

The incumbent candidates whom Hutcherson and Mann defeated in November will serve in the vacated districts, Penn said.

The city’s eight council members serve two-year terms.

Hutcherson defeated incumbent Sherry Mathews in Ward 1, Positon 1, by 294 votes, while Mann beat incumbent Patsy Pike in Ward 1, Position 2 by 42 votes.

Before the city approved new ward districts in June, Hutcherson and Mann lived in Ward 1. However, both now live in Ward 3, according to a news release from the city. They filed to run for office after the new ward districts were approved, said Melissa McCarville, city business manager.

Mann said City Hall confirmed she and Hutcherson were supposed to run in Ward  1

However, Tennant told 5NEWS it’s not the city’s responsibility to check which wards candidates live in.