Lindley’s return bid
appointed Hailey mayor
Express Staff Writer
City Council members Monday unanimously voted to deny a request by
former mayor Al Lindley to withdraw his Nov. 8 resignation and return to
office, and swiftly appointed Council President Susan McBryant as the
city’s new mayor.
deliberate set of actions came during a special meeting Monday called by
McBryant after Lindley had withdrawn his resignation Nov. 18 just 90
minutes before the council had been scheduled to appoint a new mayor.
McBryant, former president of the Hailey City Council, smiled Monday
night after she was asked to be the city’s new mayor. Upon accepting
the position, she said her "circumstances are much different than
they were a year ago," when she decided not to contest former mayor
Al Lindley’s campaign. Express photo by David N. Seelig
a motion by Councilwoman Martha Burke, council members first voted 3-0
to deny Lindley’s bid to return to the mayor’s office. The panel
then voted 3-0 to appoint McBryant, who was immediately sworn into
office as the city’s chief administrator.
that’s that," McBryant said after a round of applause from the
audience. She then adjourned the meeting and called it back to order as
the city’s mayor.
over the meeting as acting mayor, McBryant did not cast a vote in either
calling for any action Monday, council members listened to and reviewed
a detailed 11-page legal opinion from City Attorney Ned Williamson on
whether the council should return Lindley to the mayor’s office.
document provided a detailed account of the proceedings involving
Lindley’s status with the city since he submitted a letter of
resignation to council members Nov. 8. The summary noted that Lindley on
Nov. 8 told city staff members he is "outa here," and in days
to follow cleaned out his office at Hailey City Hall and returned his
city-issued keys and credit card.
document concluded that Lindley had no legal authority to assume the
mayor’s office, that his resignation was deemed effective on Nov. 8,
and that the Hailey City Council had no legal authority to reinstate the
mayor based on his Nov. 18 resignation withdrawal.
I think you should conclude the resignation was effective on Nov. 8,
2002," Williamson told council members.
mayor Al Lindley smiled in dismay and prepared to leave Monday’s
Hailey City Council meeting after watching Councilwoman Susan McBryant
be sworn in as the new mayor. Lindley upon his exit suggested he may try
to regain the office in the next city election. Express photo by
David N. Seelig
attorney listed four options council members could pursue to resolve the
matter. However, he advised that the most efficient and appropriate
action would be to deny Lindley’s request to be reinstated and appoint
a new mayor.
said the only other option that would follow state law might be for the
city to seek a "declatory judgment action" from a district
court, a process that could last for several months.
members agreed they needed to act quickly.
just not ready to lead this ship without a captain," Burke said.
mayor Brad Siemer—joined in the audience by fellow former mayors Keith
Roark and Steve Kearns—offered words of support to the new mayor.
Siemer said he thought the council made a "good decision" by
do have challenges in front of you," he noted, suggesting that city
officials will have to "ferret out" certain problems caused by
attended Monday’s proceedings, but did not make a public comment. Upon
his exit after McBryant was sworn in, he suggested to reporters that he
may run for the mayor’s office in the November 2003 election.
Tuesday morning could not be reached for comment on whether he would
challenge the council’s decision in court, a move he suggested last
week was a possibility.
days after resigning, Lindley said he left office because of grievances
filed against him by two city employees for alleged verbal sexual
officials have declined to comment on the grievances because of legal
constraints mandating confidentiality. However, council members have
issued two non-binding votes of no confidence in Lindley in recent weeks
because of an alleged pattern of actions deemed outside the scope of his
members alleged last week that Lindley signed two city contracts without
seeking proper approval from the council, but declined to elaborate on
other actions by the former mayor that prompted their no-confidence
poignant moment Monday, Hailey resident Willi Huxford asked council
members to reveal their reasons for issuing the votes questioning
Lindley’s job performance.
promptly spoke out, saying that the council since January—when Lindley
was sworn into office—has been concerned about various "personnel
issues, administration issues and legal issues" associated with
Lindley’s public service.
left exactly the way he served as mayor," she said. "With
inconsistent actions and words that have no value."
added that she did not want to "drag out any dirty laundry and wave
it around in public," and preferred to put the matter to rest.
need to heal, we need to move on, and let this man live in the
community," she said. "I am terribly sorry the city faces the
confusion it has been in. To drag this out any further will not benefit
the city of Hailey."
being sworn in as mayor, McBryant as her first order of business
appointed and swore in City Clerk/Treasurer Heather Dawson and City
Attorney Ned Williamson to their respective positions. Idaho Code
mandates that a new mayor must make the appointments.
appointed mayor, McBryant will serve at least through next November,
when an official election will be conducted to determine who will take
in the coming weeks will be asked to nominate a candidate to fill her
council seat. "We’ll deal with that soon," she said Monday.
remaining council members will make a final determination as to who is
appointed to fill the empty seat on the panel.