Eudora’s newly elected mayor, Tomeka Butler, has gone on record vetoing last week’s council decision to eliminate the mayor’s assistant position and asking City Attorney Vicki Lucas to resign.
Butler had five out of eight city officials served with certified letters on Friday, according to a press release issued by her office. Sheriff Ron Nichols served City Alderwomen Charleen Taylor, Faye Moye, Danita Turner, Ezell Minniefield, and Alderman Robert Thomas Jr. The release added that there was an attempt to serve Alderwoman Mary Harris who reportedly refused to comply and Lucas who was unable to be reached at the time.
Mayor Butler, who is being represented by Attorney Chris Burks of WH Law, is challenging the resolution of a hiring/firing freeze council voted on during a special called meeting last week as well as council’s presumption of the roles and duties of city officials and the mayor.
The letter, written by Burks, alleges certain continued illegal acts of Eudora City Council including phone discussions of public business, executive session rules, and the violation of Arkansas Law regarding complying with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. A.C.A. § 25-19-101 et seq. Eudora City Council passed a resolution June 15 that Burks also states was illegal.
Last week’s meeting was itself illegally called, according to the letter, which stated was that the correct form to request the meeting was not used, notice was not given to the mayor, and the mayor did not approve it. The letter alleged that the resolution violates Arkansas law because mayors have the exclusive right to appoint and remove any and all department heads subject to a two-thirds override by the city council. A city council, it continued, may not initiate the appointment or removal of a department head under statute A.C.A. § 14-42-110.
Mayor Butler vetoed council’s decision Thursday and has a statement on file with Eudora City Clerk Prustina Curry. Butler also reinstated the position of assistant to the mayor and asked for the resignation of Lucas.
Butler said she would continue to seek legal action if the council does not adhere to Arkansas law.