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Salyersville Independent

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SALYERSVILLE – On Tuesday an agenda for a special-called Salyersville City Council was released, citing a public hearing regarding the racial slur used by a city councilman in open meeting last week.

According to the agenda, a public hearing, pursuant to KRS 83A.040(9), will be held on October 27, at 6:30 p.m. to determine if Colin Ray Jackson should be removed from office. The outcome of that meeting is unknown at press time.

Last week Jackson used a known racial slur in open meeting that roughly references a leadership role among slaves. The meeting was immediately adjourned and two days later Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd talked to Jackson, giving him a day to resign before he would call for a meeting to discuss removing him from office.

After Jackson reportedly declined to resign, giving a public apology and vowing to never use such language, again, the issue sat dormant until Tuesday this week, when the special meeting was announced.

The Salyersville Independent checked with the Kentucky League of Cities to determine the legal process for removing a mayor of council member from office.

The KRS statute citing in the agenda states: Except in cities of the first class, any elected officer, in case of misconduct, incapacity, or willful neglect in the performance of the duties of his office, may be removed from office by a unanimous vote of the members of the legislative body exclusive of any member to be removed, who shall not vote in the deliberation of his removal. No elected officer shall be removed without having been given the right to a full public hearing. The officer, if removed, shall have the right to appeal to the Circuit Court of the county and the appeal shall be on the record. No officer so removed shall be eligible to fill the office vacated before the expiration of the term to which originally elected.

In the Wednesday night special-called meeting, Patricia Frazier made the motion to hold a public hearing to proceed with removal from office of Jackson, with Paul Montgomery seconding, and the motion passing without opposition.
Jackson asked for a week and a half to prepare for the public hearing, which the council set for Wednesday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m.

The motion had to be unanimous to pass, with abstaining votes counting toward the majority. City Attorney Jeff Lovely will be the hearing officer at the November 10 hearing.

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