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Graham city council sets procedure to appoint fifth member to fill out Talley’s term

Graham’s city council had its own version of musical chairs at its monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Jennifer Talley, who was elected to the council most recently in 2019 and elevated to the mayor’s chair by voters in November, moved from her seat on the left side of the dais to the center after a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday night.

She was joined by two new council members – Bobby Chin and Joey Parsons – and the only councilman whose name was not on the November ballot, Ricky Hall.

Hall, who like Talley had been elected in 2019, was elevated by his colleagues to the largely ceremonial post of serving as mayor pro tem; as such he will preside when Talley is unavailable.

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One of the newly-configured council’s tasks will be to name a successor to complete the remaining two years of Talley’s council term.

Talley presented members with a proposed four-page questionnaire with 24 questions on each applicant’s position on various city policies and priorities. Anyone seeking to fill the fifth council seat would need to submit the completed questionnaire to be considered.

The questions ask each applicant’s position on a number of issues, including: city funding for economic incentives; whether to institute a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for city employees; which areas of city spending should be increased or reduced; whether city employees should be allowed to work remotely; the use of eminent domain; the city’s downtown master plan and specifically whether to widen sidewalks and narrow traffic and parking areas; and various questions on how the applicant would handle ethical considerations during his or her service if appointed to the council.

To read the full questionnaire, click HERE

By a unanimous 4-0 vote, the new council agreed to take applications for the council through January 30, 2022.

The council will then turn to the consideration of filling the vacancy at its February 8 meeting.
The council also voted to keep the same meeting schedule as the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 6:00 p.m.

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