Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TOP STORY >> No drama for Cypert at meeting

Leader staff writer

New Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert said before he took office that the transition from Eddie Joe Williams’ administration to his would be a slow one, and he is apparently making good on that promise.

His first city council meeting on Monday night was much like Williams’ last one in December. Both were brief. No significant business was conducted but several recognitions were on the agenda.

Police Lt. Ed Sims, who retires at the end of the month after 20 years with the department, was awarded his service weapon, a Glock model 23 with serial number EYV848.

Police Chief Jackie Davis said after the meeting that Sims’ retirement gives the younger officers the opportunity to test and be interviewed for promotion.

In addition to Sims, resolutions recognizing former Alderman Eddie Cook, former mayor and now Sen. Williams and former Alderman Lisa Brickell Hardage were also on the agenda.

Since Williams was tied up in Little Rock and Brickell Hardage was absent, those resolutions were held. Cypert read the resolution commending Cook for his service as alderman and announced that he is the city’s new director of operations.

Cook is off the council because he ran for mayor instead of a fourth term as alderman. When he came in third in the three-candidate race, he supported Cypert against former Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh.

“He got it fair and square,” the mayor said of hiring Cook to help run his office.

Cook, who was notable on the council for his light-hearted and joking manner, sat in front of the council table with the city attorney and his assistant during the council meeting.

“Mr. Mayor, may I say something?” Alderman Jon Moore asked at the end of Cypert’s announcement. “It’s a lot quieter up here now that he’s down there,” Moore said.

“So noted,” Cypert said with barely a hint of a smile.

In other business, the council appointed Dallan Buchanan to the planning commission and reappointed Dennis Hyland.

Alderman Ed Long was ap-pointed to replace Cook on the advertising and promotion commission and Bob Seibert was reappointed.

Cypert served on the Cabot Water and Wastewater Com-mission from its start in 2006 through December 2010. Gary Walker, the commission’s vice-chairman, read a letter from Chairman J.M. Park thanking Cypert for his service.

“You have been integral to fulfilling the mission for which the commission was founded,” Walker read.

Park had surgery a week ago for a non-cancerous tumor and was not able to attend the meeting. Walker said Park is expected to recover completely and that he does not plan to leave the commission.

While Williams was mayor, the first order of business after the minutes were read at most meetings was to announce that month’s recipient of the mayor’s “random act of kindness” award. On rare occasions, the recipients weren’t heroes, but for the most part they were just what the name implied. They were average people who did something to make someone’s life a little better.

They were the people who weeded their neighbors’ yards, the dentists who donated their services and the quilters who sent their quilts to military hospitals so the injured military personnel would know someone cared.

Forty such awards were mounted on the back wall of the council chamber for Williams’ last council meeting as mayor.

Asked if he would continue the award, Cypert said he would continue to honor heroism, but awards would likely be rare and not a regular part of every council meeting.