Trustee Cindy Southway was willing to serving as Grand Lake mayor pro tem
Editor’s note: Trustee Ernie Bjorkman contacted the Sky-Hi News on Thursday and said he will be able to attend the Sept. 13 meeting.
Responding to questions from the Sky-Hi News, Grand Lake Trustee Cindy Southway confirmed on Tuesday that she was interested in serving as mayor pro tem.
On Aug. 23, the Gand Lake Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to place Trustee Ernie Bjorkman in the role.
Sparked by a move outside town limits, Trustee Jonah Landy’s resignation created the opening. The mayor pro tem steps in to lead board meetings when the mayor is absent.
Prior to Bjorkman’s appointment, Trustee Tom Bruton nominated Southway, who was unable to attend the meeting because of personal reasons, to take over as mayor pro tem.
Explaining why he thought she would be a good fit, Bruton applauded Southway’s service to the town and her knowledge of town business as he lobbied for her appointment.
During the meeting, Bruton said that he had spoke to Southway before the meeting and she told him that she would be interested in serving in the position. Over the phone, Southway confirmed everything Bruton relayed to the board.
“Yes, I was willing to serve as mayor pro tem,” Southway said.
However, Burton’s motion never received a second and died without a vote before the board voted 4-1 to appoint Bjorkman with Bruton in dissent.
In response to Bruton’s nomination, Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron said that Southway knew the appointment was on the agenda and hadn’t spoken to him prior to the meeting. Trustee Michael Arntson, who recently took over for Southway as the financial trustee, added that he believed Southway was looking to reduce her responsibilities.
Over the phone, Southway said she didn’t speak to Kudron prior to the Aug. 23 meeting, but she did say that she had expressed interest in the mayor pro tem position when Landy was appointed to the position in spring 2020.
Southway said she would have preferred trustees tabled the vote — as Bruton requested during the Aug. 23 board meeting — but Southway added that she understands why the board moved forward in her absence.
“If it had been tabled, then Ernie (Bjorkman) wouldn’t have been there the next time,” Southway explained, adding that she thinks he’ll be out of town on Sept. 13, so one of the trustees would have been absent for the vote regardless.
On Thursday, Bjorkman said that he will be able to attend the Sept. 13 meeting.
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