Heated City Council meeting results in mayor resignation

4 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Friday, August 22 2014 Aug 22, 2014 Friday, August 22, 2014 6:04:00 AM CDT August 22, 2014 in News
By: Creighton Hayes, KOMU 8 Reporter

HUNTSVILLE - A battle over state law versus city law ended with the resignation of the mayor of Huntsville Thursday night. 

Carl Gordy, 74, was in his fourth month of his fourth term as the mayor of Huntsville. The Huntsville City Council heard testimony from the city's Park Board, a separate entity in Huntsville government. 

The board's president claimed the City Council abused its power and overstepped the authority given to it by state and local statutes. 

"We have a city council that doesn't know the city ordinances, or they selectively enforce them," said Tom Bowden, president of the Huntsville Park Board. 

Missouri revised statutes 90.500 - 90.570 give park boards a lot of freedom in how they operate. Municipal governments, like Huntsville, can have stricter requirements on park boards, which it does. 

Thursday night's city council meeting broke out in heated argument over the differences between state and local regulations. At the argument's climax, Huntsville police kicked Bowden out of the meeting. Shortly after, the council voted Bowden and three other members of the Park Board out of office. 

After the council's vote, Mayor Gordy stood up from his seat and resigned from his office. 

"This is the first time I've ever encountered this, like I said, I never encountered it before," Gordy said of the tension between the City Council and the Park Board. "It's new for me so it's making it hard to hold council meetings and and keep your cool."

Council woman Keyla Carnahan is acting mayor in Huntsville, she will likely hold the position until April 2015. 

Huntsville voters elected Gordy as mayor four times since 1990. Two of his terms have ended in resignation. 

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