Andrew Mead resigned from his position as mayor of the city of Buffalo at the beginning of Monday night’s regular board meeting after making two proclamations.
The mayor began by explaining he had a silly proclamation, a serious proclamation and news that would “relieve” some people.
The mayor’s third item of business was the announcement of his resignation. He explained there had been a difference of opinion between he and the board. Mead said he no longer found himself to be “fruitful” for the city in his position as mayor.
Mead offered the city his help as needed, stating “I wish the city the best.”
In recent weeks, the board has approved a budget that Mead openly expressed distaste for following its approval. Later in the same week, a meeting between the mayor and Fire Chief Erich Higgins led Higgins to submit a formal letter of complaint about Mead’s attitude.
“It was made clear to me that my leadership was no longer needed,” stated Mead Tuesday afternoon. “I said that during the meeting and I truly believe that.”
Mead explained he dissolved the budget committee after the new budget was passed and he believes it was the gut reaction of some of the aldermen to have a special meeting. They chose a day that Mead would not be available and Mead said everyone involved in scheduling that meeting knew he would not be available. The meeting was held Sept. 27 to discuss police cars, and in Mead’s opinion he should have been considered essential for that meeting because he was overseeing the police department in absence of a police chief.
Before the board was able to vote on a motion to accept Mead’s resignation, he took his wife, Melissa, by the hand and left the room with a smile on his face as he announced it was time to go get ice cream.
After accepting Mead’s resignation, Alderman Jess Stafford, mayor pro tem, took control of the meeting. Stafford explained one of the six aldermen must be appointed to take control of the position. A meeting to make that decision was scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. today (Oct. 9) at City Hall.
“I’m still very hopeful that the city can continue with progress,” said Mead Tuesday afternoon. “Of the city employees we still have - we have high quality employees, and we are in good hands with them.”
Prior to resigning, Mead declared Oct. 23, 2013, as Weird Al Yankovic day in honor of Weird Al’s birthday. He explained Yankovic was a childhood hero to him and earlier in the year, Mead was fortunate to meet him. Mead has given the pop satirist a key to the city as well.
“I just hope everyone celebrates Weird Al’s birthday,” said Mead. “I really mean that.”
Following his “silly proclamation” Mead explained over the years he has learned of the difficulty presented to people relying on wheelchairs as a means of transportation due to poor pathways and sidewalks in the city. In efforts to help remedy the poor transportation conditions, the city of Buffalo has received a Transportation Enhancement Grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation to be utilized for a walking trail within the city. Mead attributes much dedicated effort to Lawrence Holt for the creation of sidewalks within the city.
“Therefore be it resolved, that I, Andrew Mead, Mayor of the city of Buffalo, Mo., do hereby name the aforementioned walking trail as the Lawrence Holt Memorial Trail,” announced Mead.
Wayne Holt, Lawrence Holt’s son, received the proclamation from the mayor. He stated “It’s great for the family to see this happen,” upon shaking Mayor Mead’s hand.
“I hope we have nice signage for the Lawrence Holt Memorial Trail. He really dedicated a lot to seeing this kind of improvement,” said Mead.
The meeting returned to order after Mead’s exit. The board approved a motion allowing the wastewater treatment plant to spend $2,172.35 to fix a problem with pump #2. New business licenses were approved for Buffalo Hardware, LCC at 107 N. Maple Street; Dallas County Marketing at 100 E. Commercial Street; and Tidy Guys Cleaning Service at 314 E. Lincoln Street.
The board once again tabled the municipal court discussion but did approve for the street and water department to spend up to $5,000 to do patchwork on Locust Street.
The board went into closed session to discuss real estate and personnel near the end of the meeting. The open meeting was reconvened shortly after to reappoint officers. Officers reappointed included City Clerk Martha Swearingin; City Attorney Travis Elliot; City Treasurer Debby Polston; Fire Chief Erich Higgins; and Collector of Revenue Talia Nelson.
During public comments questions were raised about concerns at the Buffalo City Pound. Stafford explained the board does not yet have answers but is ready and willing to work with pound employees to identify the needs and concerns of the pound. Stafford said he expects further discussion on the topic at the Oct. 28 meeting. Until then, employees are asked to keep in touch with aldermen Kristie Horn and Larry Hicks and were advised to contact City Hall if there were any immediate needs between now and the next meeting.