LEEDS – The Leeds Town Council appointed former council member Angela Rohr as Leeds new mayor in a 2-1 vote Wednesday night.
Rohr was one of two candidates set before the Leeds Town Council Wednesday to fill the mayor position soon to be vacated by Mayor Alan Roberts. Roberts gave the town a notice of resignation on Feb. 9, which would be rendered effective the night of Feb. 13. The mayor said his reasons for resigning were personal, though clarified the position had taken up more time and resources than he could devote to it.
“With some changes in my personal and family needs, I find it necessary to focus my time and resources towards those needs,” Roberts wrote in a statement to media concerning his resignation.
Along with Rohr, Leeds resident Wayne Peterson also expressed a desire to fill the remaining 10 months of the mayor’s term. Both Peterson and Rohr were set before the town council – Mayor Roberts and council members Nate Blake, Joe Allen and Frank Lojko, who was out of town but participating via the internet – and answered a series of questions before a vote was made. The first question asked of the candidates by the council was why they wanted the mayoral appointment.
Peterson said he believed he had the time, talents and energy needed to fill the position. He cited over 20 years working as a commodities trader and serving as the president of a school board as experiences that would help in his serving as the mayor. He also said he wanted to make a difference in the community.
Rohr said her time as a town council member helped give her the experience needed to fill out the remaining 10 months of the mayor’s current term. As mayor she said she would do her best to make town government more open and transparent as well. She also joked she had chosen to become a mayoral candidate “because no one else wanted the job.”
Among the council’s primary concerns for the candidates was how much time and energy they could give the position, how available to the public they were willing to be, how they would address keeping aspects of town government sufficiently staffed, and their vision for Leeds’s future moving forward. Roberts also specifically asked which the candidates felt was more important: following the process of law, or giving more ear to the opinion of the constituency and public clamor.
The mayor needs to listen to the public, but also follow the process of law, Rohr said.
The people must be heard “but listening doesn’t always mean doing what they want,” Peterson said. Like Rohr, he also said he would listen, though he would follow what the law stipulated as well.
Peterson also said that if appointed, he may also consider running for election when the 10 months completed. Rohr said did not comment on the possibility if she were appointed instead.
When the questions concluded, Roberts officially stepped down as mayor and left the meeting in the hands of Mayor-pro-tem Frank Lojko.
Before the council voted, Lojko thanked Roberts for his time as mayor. “Millions of thanks to your service and dedication,” he said.
In the roll call vote following, Lojko and Blake voted for Rohr, while Allen voted for Peterson.
Rohr was sworn into office following the vote.
As for Peterson, some Leeds residents expressed their desire to see him apply for Mayor Rohr’s former position on the town council.
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