Barker sworn in at special meeting, open city council seat to be filled

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

August 4, 2022

Mayor Jerry Barker was officially sworn in by City Secretary Kristi Woellert at a special Whitney City Council meeting that was called Thursday, July 28. He will fill the mayor’s position until the May 2023 election, at which time he plans to run for a full two-year term.

The Whitney City Council met in a special session Thursday, July 28, and officially voted to appoint Jerry Barker mayor following the resignation of former mayor Brad Slaten earlier this month.

Barker, who was a council member and mayor pro tem at the time of Slaten’s resignation, had been serving as acting mayor prior to the council’s vote.

The meeting was called after Assistant City Attorney Doug Montgomery recommended that the council vote to officially appoint a mayor and then fill the open council seat.

While the initial plan was for Barker to serve as acting mayor until the election and leave his council seat open, the attorney advised the council that it would be best to fill the seat. Otherwise, a special election could be necessary if another council member resigns or is unable to serve before May, and this would be expensive for the city.

After a closed session, the council voted to appoint Barker, and he was sworn in by City Secretary Kristi Woellert.

Mayor Barker said that he plans to run again in the May 2023 election. If he is elected as mayor, he would begin a two-year term at that point.

The city expects to accept applications from citizens interested in filling the open council position, and the individual selected by the council will finish out Barker’s unexpired term.

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