ARMA — Arma City Council Member Richard Kerley resigned Monday night on the basis of treating people with “dignity and respect.”
Kerely resigned Monday, effective immediately.
Arma Mayor Rock Anderson read his letter of resignation to the council which states:
“I’ve enjoyed my time serving on city council and of course the public water source, district #11 and LAPC the last five and a half years,” Kerley wrote in his letter of resignation. “I believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect and I feel like this is not being done at council meetings and towards employees.
“So I have decided to resign my position on the city council. To the city employees, city clerks, public works department, police department, fire department with the knowledge, training, and years of experience, you all have, you are some of the best people I've had the privilege working with and I thank you, respectfully, Richard Kerely.”
After reading the letter, Anderson said, “It’s really a big loss, the guy had so much talent and did so much work and saved the city a God-awful amount of money, with water and other things he did.
“He has so much knowledge pertaining to public works, water, gas, all kinds of things. A great councilman.”
The council agreed and said it was “senseless” to lose “a man with so many talents,” and going forward they should be “more careful” to avoid losing other council members or employees.
Selecting a new councilman will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
In other business, the council discussed agenda item “proper purchasing procedures” dealing with a purchase of a police vehicle which was purchased with a $26,000 check.
The truck was previously approved as a police department vehicle in April. It was received in December after a several-month-long wait both City Attorney Rick Smith and the clerk Bette Lessen said.
“The council members authorized the acquisition,” Smith said. “In anticipation of taking out lease-purchase financing at that time.”
At the time the, the police purchase financing was bid on, two bids were received and one was accepted.
“They did have time frames on them that expired prior to the vehicle being delivered,” Smith said.
When the vehicle was delivered the check was issued, Smith said.
“The concern was whether that was an appropriate purchase without a special meeting or authorization from the council,” Smith said. “From a technical standpoint, probably should have brought to the council's attention before the vehicle payment was issued to clarify how the payment was made.”
On Monday, the city council approved a motion to ratify the purchase and renew lease purchase bids from the bank.
Council Member Mary Lou Peace said, “my suggestion leave it as it fully paid for and proceed on,” rather than collecting interests and fees.
The council then approved to not pursue the loan and pay it out of the depreciation surplus fund, with plans to reimburse the fund for a period of time until it is built back up by creating a revenue source.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.