Published On: Wed, Jul 16th, 2014

Durbin mayor resigns, recorder to follow suit

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After serving three consecutive terms as mayor, Donald Peck resigned the post at the July 8 Durbin Town Council meeting.

Peck said he was disappointed in the way the council is enforcing the ordinances that he and recorder Danielle Findley worked on with council.

“We sat in here hours, on hours, on hours, working on the ordinances, trying to get them straightened out the way we wanted them – the way we were going to rule the town,” Peck said. “The first thing you know, the council goes against them. You cannot rule the town like that. If you set an ordinance, you’ve got to abide by it.”

The most recent action that brought this issue to light was when council approved a variance for a resident to add a trailer on his/her lot. The way the ordinance is worded, residents are allowed only one dwelling per lot.

The resident in question has two lots with two trailers – the lots run horizontal with the trailers running vertically, which technically means both lots have two dwellings on them, which is against the ordinance.

“I know why he’s doing it and I think it’s crazy,” councilmember Mike Vance said of Peck’s resignation. “Because for the past forty years, sixty years, there’s always been a trailer there and the town can give a variance. There was a variance given for it. In that, a variance can go on to ordinances.”

“To make a variance, you’ve got to bring it before the entire council, not one or two members,” Peck replied. “That is something the town should have never allowed to happen because if somebody asks for a variance, you can’t deny them and then everybody is going to be building on top of one another.”

After he said his piece, Peck read his letter of resignation and said he would continue serving as the coordinator for the Durbin Days Heritage Festival.

Council approved Peck’s resignation which led to Findley taking the position as acting mayor.

Findley explained that she must resign because she is moving out of town limits.

“It was my intention to resign the position of recorder effective immediately after the August meeting because I will be relocating,” she said. “Despite what everybody’s heard, it has nothing to do with this trailer issue or supporting Donald in that, although I will say I do support Donald in that. I wrote the ordinance. I was the one that spent one hundred-seventy hours on it. It was hurtful to me that we were not able to work together on that.”

Findley will present her resignation at the August meeting.

In other business:

• Council approved to allow the Pocahontas County Historical Society use the town office for its July 28 meeting. The historical society plans to take a tour of the town jail with Jason Bauserman at 6:15 p.m. and convene the meeting at the town office at 7 p.m.

Bauserman reported that he plans to share the information he has discovered in the town records with the historical society. The meeting is open to the public.

Durbin Town Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the town office.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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