City council cancels election
OLNEY— The Olney City Council dashed any ideas of a heated race for the three at-large city council seats after canceling the May election with only three candidates filing for office.
Councilmen Tommy Kimbro and Chuck Stennett will retain their seats while Robert “Rue” Rogers will come onto the council after filing for office just hours prior to the Feb. 17 deadline.
Rogers will replace outgoing Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff McClatchy. McClatchey served for nearly two years after his 2015 appointment to replace former Councilman Jake Bailey, who left to serve on the Olney Independent School Board. Although appointed to fill a two-year term, McClatchy was not stranger to Olney city politics.
“I just took Jake Bailey’s place at the mayor’s request, which I was glad to do,” McClatchy said. “There were other people willing to serve. I’ve had my time here. I was mayor. I’ve been on the council before so it’s time to let other people do it.”
Despite foregoing the May election, Rogers will not take office until the conclusion of the May 9 canvassing. As soon as canvassing completes, the council will have a swearing-in ceremony then later select the next mayor pro tem, who will serve until that position until 2018, when the public will decide whether to re-elect Mayor Phil Jeske as well as Councilmen Tom Parker and Andrew McPhie, should they seek another term in office.
“By state law, they can’t take office after the election has occurred even though they canceled it,” Olney City Secretary Tim Houston said. “It will be at a meeting after May 6. I can’t say if it will be the first meeting, but it will be a meeting in May ... At that meeting, after the councilmen are sworn in, they will sit and choose a new mayor pro tem, who will act in that capacity at least until next year when we have two council members and a mayor up for election.”