Nelson Loses Two Council Members to Resignation

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During last night’s work session a combination of disbelief and surprise seemed to be the prevailing feeling over the resignation of two city council members from Nelson. The two council members, Jonathan Bishop and Duane Cronic, hand-delivered their resignation letters to City Manager Brandy Edwards Friday, March 28, with no further discussion.

“They didn’t give any reason or say anything about it when they came in,”

Edwards said.

In a statement to FYN, Cronic said he had four objectives when he took office that he anticipated would take his term to complete. 1) a safe Nelson; 2) a fiscally sound Nelson; 3) a transparent Nelson; and 4) a Nelson where people’s voices are heard. Cronic feels he has met his obligations before the tenure was completed and having done so, along with the statement that he’s not a career politician, felt the time had come for him to relinquish that seat.

Cronic wrote,

“These four items were for all of Nelson; not my subdivision, not a portion of the city, but for everyone that lived within the city limits of our small town. I felt these items would take the entire four years of my term to accomplish, however we completed them ahead of schedule.”

Those reasons in mind, Cronic supported them with statistics: a new police chief and funds for more as needed; budget cuts leading to millage rate decreases; a contingency fund now in place; new updated policies adopted including nepotism and capital improvements among others; public hearings for input to city spending, plans and citizen surveys.

Mayor Larry Ray expressed disappointment at the resignations.

“I felt like we were treating them courteously. We would’ve liked their input.”

“It was a surprise to me. Their input was appreciated,”

he said.

Council member Jackie Jarrett was likewise amenable to their continued presence on the council. He told FYN that their participation was invaluable and he was disappointed with the outcome.

With three remaining council members (Thad Thacker, Martha Tipton and Jarrett) they do still have a quorum which is required to conduct city business. Both Edwards and Ray seemed to support the re-filling of those chairs in the November election but since it was a work session no voting or official planning was allowed nor was it discussed as it didn’t appear on the agenda.

“Otherwise, it will cost the city $4000-$5000 to have a special election,”

Ray reported.

Cronic completed his statement with the following:

“With the make-up of the current council, I feel there is nothing more I can offer to the city. I can do more as a citizen than a Council member at this time to help my city. It will be up to the current and future councils to see if they can maintain what has been put into place over the past (two) and a half years. I do feel that I have left the City of Nelson much better than when I found it and that is accomplishment enough for me.”

No response has been made from Bishop as yet regarding his resignation.

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