Farmington Election Winners Decline to Serve On Council

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The two women who won Farmington City Council seats in the wrong ward last month have submitted documents agreeing to decline the posts.

On Nov. 21, Amy Hutcherson signed a one-sentence memo to Mayor Ernie Penn and City Attorney Steven Tennant, stating she will decline to serve.

The other winner in the Nov. 6 election, Elizabeth Mann, submitted an e-mail to Penn and Tennant on Dec. 5, saying she didn’t want to prolong the issue and “regretfully” would withdraw from the position.

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

Tennant, consulting with Arkansas Municipal League officials and others, had 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

Tennant previously told 5NEWS it’s not the city’s responsibility to check which wards candidates live in, but he said Friday (Dec. 27) the city now will attach a copy of ward maps to the election-petition material that candidates receive in running for office.