RIDGELEY – “I have an experienced past mayor who would like to come on board with us,” said Ridgeley mayor Mark Jones Tuesday as he appointed Warren Harness to fill the vacant seat on the town council, despite some mixed feelings among the remaining members of council.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspondent
RIDGELEY – “I have an experienced past mayor who would like to come on board with us,” said Ridgeley mayor Mark Jones Tuesday as he appointed Warren Harness to fill the vacant seat on the town council, despite some mixed feelings among the remaining members of council.
According to Ridgeley’s ordinance, it’s up to the mayor to make the appointment, which is then voted on by the council.
While the councilmen agreed that Harness was a good candidate for the position, there were mixed emotions as Tanya Ryan, the next highest vote getter in the June election, sat in the audience.
Butch Hawse, who won the seat in the election, resigned his position prior to the July meeting.
Councilmen Don McFarland and Jim Twigg questioned why Ryan wasn’t appointed to fill the post.
Members noted that if the desire is to have the next highest vote getter to fill a vacant seat, the council should revise the ordinance to make the action clearer should this situation arise in the future.
When asked why he was interested in being on the council, Harness replied, “I’m here because the mayor asked me to be.”
McFarland voted against his appointment, but Harness garnered support from councilmen Nick Imes, Duke Lantz and Twigg to make it official.
As the meeting concluded, Ryan spoke out that she wasn’t given equal opportunity to be considered for the position due to a conflict of interest.
“I don’t hold a grudge against anybody,” she said as she walked out of the meeting.