Castle resigns from London city council

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(Posted Jan. 8, 2020)

By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer

London city council is down a member as of its first meeting of 2020, held on Jan. 2.

Rex Castle, who was re-elected to a two-year term in November, tendered his resignation on Dec. 19, citing “personal reasons.” His resignation became effective on Jan. 1.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to serve our community as a councilman for the past seven years,” Castle wrote in his resignation letter to Mayor Patrick Closser. “London has experienced growth in the past several years with leadership of our council and your administration. I wish continued success to everyone in the years to come.”

Castle represented the city’s Ward 4. During his time on council, he served in various capacities, including chairing the finance and properties committees, and was instrumental in city budgeting.

“Mr. Castle was a great councilman and an asset to the city,” Closser said. “He will be missed, and (I) cannot thank him enough for all of his hard work through the years.”

The London members of the Madison County Republican Central Committee (RCC) are tasked with filling the vacant seat. London residents interested in filling the position are asked to send letters of interest to Nicholas Adkins, RCC chairman, at nickadkinslaw@gmail.com. Interviews will be conducted at 6 p.m. Jan. 30 at London city hall, 20 S. Walnut St.

During the business portion of the council meeting, council members approved two pieces of legislation pertaining to vacating alleys. They approved vacating the alley that runs through a section of Laurel and First streets. They also set a public hearing for Feb. 6 to discuss vacating an alley that runs between West Fifth and North Oak streets at Eberle-Fisher Funeral Home and the Creamery building.

Council went into executive session after several members voiced concerns over Henry Comer’s proposed reorganization of the city’s various committees. This was Comer’s first meeting as the newly elected president of council.

Wanting to “get a fresh perspective,” Comer’s idea was to swap council members around from their previously held committee seats and appoint newly elected council member Carla Blazier as chairperson of the finance and safety committees.

According to council member Richard Hays, the proposed moves were “too drastic.”

“The only guarantee that I will make is that I do not have all the answers, but if we work together as a team, we can come up with an appropriate solution,” Comer said before council went into executive session.

When they returned to open session, council members unanimously approved the following committee assignments:

• Finance–Brenda Russell (chairperson), Blazier, and Andrew Hitt;
• Public service–Josh Peters (chairperson), Russell, and Anthony Smith; and
• Public safety–Hays (chairperson), Blazier, and Hitt.

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