Two weeks after Troy voters ousted Donald Banning as mayor, the city council has appointed Tony Brown as the city’s new leader. Brown, who was mayor in the late 1970s, will serve out the rest of Banning’s term until January 2014.
Brown was appointed at a special council meeting last Friday night, where he and three other candidates went before the council to state their case as to why they should be mayor. Brown was appointed with a vote of three to one.
The turmoil that has engulfed Troy’s small city government began earlier this year when City Councilor Fran McCully filed a petition with Lincoln County election officials to recall Banning. In the affidavit, she said that Banning had often overstepped his bounds. On May 24 he was recalled in a special election.
Following the election, Council President Phil Fisher became acting mayor and the council had 30 days to appoint a permanent leader. Although the next regular meeting would have fallen within the 30 days, Fisher said the council wanted to get a new mayor and move forward as quickly as possible. On Friday night, Brown, Fisher, Donna Rugani and David Hall all went before the council to interview for the position of mayor. During the meeting, Brown became the clear frontrunner.
“He has experience with city government, he owns his own business and he’s been here his whole life,” Fisher said.
The one councilor who didn’t support Brown was Joe Arts, who was elected to the council last year. Arts said he was unsure if Brown would side with Fisher and McCully, who he says are trying to grab more power.
“I have no reason to distrust him at this point, but I don’t have a reason to fully support him yet either,” Arts said. “Like I’ve said all along, I’m for the people.”
But even if he didn’t support Brown during the special meeting, Arts said he remained hopeful that appointing a new mayor was a good step forward. It was a mood shared by other members of the council, including McCully. She said she was satisfied with Brown becoming the new mayor and hoped he was ready to tackle the issues facing Troy, including appointing a new city attorney.
“He has the best interest of Troy in his heart,” McCully said.
Mayor Brown was unavailable for comment before the Beacon went to press.
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