No lack of challenges facing Laurel as we eye 2018

By: 
DAVID KEYES
Laurel Outlook publisher

A new year and a new start can’t come soon enough for the city of Laurel.

With only two weeks remaining this calendar year here are a few agenda items hanging fire:
• No decision on who is the town’s mayor.
• An inept chief administrative officer quits before she would be fired by whoever is the next mayor. Her last day at the office was last Friday. The search for her replacement has started but as of today, she is still getting paid.
• Intake issues continue to get worse and will likely get more complicated as we move into 2018.
• Fill in the blank…
To be clear, the rank and file department heads, law enforcement and employees are great. We are lucky to have them and Laurel is better off because of their dedication. But we also recognize their ability to do their jobs is hampered by the issues that have haunted the CAO for several years as well as the latest mayor dust up.
Laurel deserves better.
As far as the mayor’s race goes, it is our belief that the candidate with the most votes wins. Period. The state has signed off on the results and every vote was counted accurately. If there was widespread voter fraud, voter suppression, bribes, hostages, etc. we can see why the council would want to investigate.
Dave Waggoner, a city employee, isn’t the favorite of several city councilmembers and they have suggested he has a conflict of interest and won’t seat him.
In the meantime, there is an ad in the Outlook this week on Page 6, that in its headline reads: City of Laurel: MAYOR VACANCY.
The ad says the city is “seeking a replacement for Mayor to fill a vacancy beginning Jan. 2, 2018, through Jan. 6, 2020, after which the position will be filled by a person elected in the City’s November 2019 General Election for the remaining two-year term.”
Read the rest of the qualifications in the ad. The deadline is Dec. 22 at 5 p.m.
All a person has to do is look around to recognize that Laurel has a tremendous future as it continues to attract residents and businesses. We had good participation in the last municipal election so it is obvious people here care about guiding their future.
We challenge our city leaders to make a clean break with the former CAO, get a mayor in place and begin to address infrastructure, the intake and the whole host of other challenges that await in 2018.
Time isn’t on our side on any of these issues.
A new year, a new start for Laurel. Sounds good to us.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, May 6, 2019
• Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)

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