Missouri town grapples with resignations of key personnel
PARMA (AP) - Several residents of a small southeast Missouri town say they don't believe the resignations of five of six members of the police force are race-related after the longtime mayor, who is white, lost to a black woman.
Tyus Byrd defeated Randall Ramsey by 38 votes on April 7 in 700-resident Parma.
KFVS-TV reported that hours before she was sworn in last week, five officers - two of them part-time - quit, along with Parma's clerk, city attorney and the wastewater plant's supervisor. KFVS says Ramsey cited unspecified "safety concerns," though no resignation letters have been made public.
Some residents don't believe race was a factor. That includes retired railroad foreman Louis Nelson, who is black, and former councilman Barry Aycock, who is white. They say they're embracing the leadership change.