Citizens react to resignations

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 18, 2004

Many people think Mayor Bill Godbold accomplished some goodthings for the city while in office but, according to an unofficialpoll conducted by The DAILY LEADER, some said it was time for achange in city leadership.

While saying Godbold had been “a good mayor,” Brian Carreirro ofBrookhaven cited the number of new businesses and a growingpopulation. He said Godbold’s replacement “would need the samequalities he had.”

Ronnie Stoots of Brookhaven said he didn’t always agree with themayor on certain things.

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Stoots added, however, that Godbold had probably been a positiveinfluence on the city when someone evaluates his nearly 23 years inoffice. Godbold, whose resignation is effective April 1, is in hissixth, non-consecutive term as mayor.

“We can agree or disagree on their policies, but God put them inoffice and we should pray and support them,” he said.

The mayor’s resignation could be the signal of better things tocome, Stoots said, while adding his best wishes to the retiree.

“There’s always room for improvement. We wish him the best andpray God will give us a good leader in the next election,” hesaid.

Shane McCullough of Brookhaven said the resignation gives thecity an opportunity people shouldn’t overlook.

“It might make things better,” he said. “New leadership bringsnew things. Change is good sometimes.”

Others, however, said the mayor’s resignation was overdue.

Nelson Lenson of Brookhaven said he supported Godbold in thepast, but is happy to see he is leaving office.

“He hasn’t done much good for the city this last term,” Lensonsaid. “He’s used to things going his way and this term thingshaven’t gone his way. This last term, I just don’t understand him.Nothing seems to satisfy him.”

Lenson said he was not happy with the direction the city hasbeen taking this term, citing problems in the sanitation departmentand other areas of government.

Debra Birden of Brookhaven said the city is “better off” withGodbold no longer at the helm.

“I think it’s good because he doesn’t help out the way he’ssupposed too,” she said. “I don’t think he was there to help thecity, but for his own good.”

Birden said Godbold had a “smart attitude” and was selective ofwhom he helped while in office. She suggested Godbold’s replacement”treat everyone right and understand another person’s view. And getit done right.”

In contrast, many said they regretted that City Clerk IrisRudman Smith also announced her resignation during Tuesday’smeeting of the board of aldermen. Most of those polled who knewRudman Smith were unanimous when it came to her resignation, whichis effective April 12.

“She’s been a very good person working there,” Birden said.”There wasn’t anything you couldn’t ask her to do that she wouldn’tdo if she could.”

Lenson agreed.

“I always thought she did a good job,” he said. “I always votedfor her.”

Birden said she hoped whoever was elected to take her officewould bring with them the same qualities Rudman Smithdisplayed.

“I’m sorry to see her go. She had dignity and integrity,” Birdensaid. “I hope they’ll be as nice and Christian-like as shewas.”

Aldermen are expected to declare the mayor’s office vacantduring their next regular meeting on April 6 and the city clerk’soffice vacant during a special meeting on April 13.

A special election must be held within 30-45 days after thevacancies are declared. City officials are considering a specialelection date of May 18.

Qualifying for the non-partisan special election can begin afterthe date is set. Candidates will need to collect petitions with thesignatures of 50 registered citizens voters.