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By Wesley Robinson
News Intern, The Oldham Era
It took less than 20 minutes for the Prospect City Council to pick its new mayor during a special-called meeting Monday night.
John Evans was unanimously appointed mayor and will serve out the remainder of the term, which became vacant when Ken Corey resigned July 1. Evans’ term ends Dec. 31, 2014.
The former city mayor was selected from a field of six candidates vying for the position. The other candidates were Council member Bill Brab; Evan Comer, a member of the Code Enforcement Board; Tom Gates; John Vandertoll; and Joseph Casey.
Evans was active in city government from 1976-99. He served in the offices of city attorney, city clerk and city councilman, and was mayor from 1981-84.
His new term was effective immediately, on the heels of resignations of the two previous mayors. Tom Eberle resigned March 9 after serving since 2006 and Ken Corey, who resigned last month.
“In essence, jumping into jobs that need to be done is something I’ve done my whole life,” Evans said. “It’s just kind of who I am.”
City Attorney Grover Potts said Evans’ previous experience with the city government is a plus and probably made the decision easier for the council.
“I have no doubt he will do a good job,” Potts said. “I was glad to see it was a unanimous vote, because it indicates people want some kind of stability.”
Ann Simms, the city administrator who served as interim mayor, said she didn’t mind filling in but is pleased the council made a selection.
“I’m happy to have a mayor. I like working with people,” Simms said. “Tonight was the beginning of a new, wonderful era in our city government. Everyone wants to move forward.”
Simms said she has known Evans for more than 20 years and touted his ethics and intellect as reasons for why he will succeed.
Evans has lived in Prospect since 1975, a year after the city was founded. He said local residents want harmony and respect within the government, something he did not sense was happening.
The 75-year-old Evans said he decided to get back into city government because he has slowed down his law practice at Stoll Keenon Ogden and because one of the city council members asked him to run.
“I’m really at an age where people buy a rocking chair … but I’m not ready to do that,” he said.
Evans said he wants to get his feet on the ground and get an idea of what is going on with the city’s business. He noted the East End Bridge and the state’s desire to widen U.S. 42 as the main issues on the docket.
“Beyond that, I need to have a little more time to see where we are and where I think we need to go,” Evans said.
Evans said he plans to finish up the term, but is still processing the appointment and isn’t sure if he will run again at the end of next year.
“I’m not going to say one way or another,” Evans said. “It depends on a lot of things.”
The Prospect City Council next will turn its attention to finding a replacement for Mike Scott, who died unexpectedly July 12.
Simms said the city will send out an e-mail soliciting resumes through 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.
Council will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at City Hall to appoint the new council member.
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