After years of contemplating consolidating East Carbon and Sunnyside into one city, action is finally taking place to move the union forward. The consolidation of the cities was voted on in the November election where Sunnyside passed the measure 70 votes for and 32 against and East Carbon voted 297 for and 68 against.
With the matter decided upon, a council for the new city (name to be determined) was decided upon. The council consists of 12 members, including a mix of former Sunnyside council members, many former East Carbon members and a few fresh faces.
Councilman Dave Maggio served as mayor pro tem for the first meeting of the new council on Tuesday night. With one open seat remaining on the council, the members reviewed applications for the position. Applicants that were in attendance at the meeting were considered for the position after they made a short statement on why they desired the job.
Six votes from the council put Larry Wood in the final seat. Wood was born and raised in East Carbon and worked for the city for six years in the maintenance department.
“Interesting things are happening and I would like to be a part of it,” Wood explained in his presentation to the council. ”I would like to be able to do what I could to help out the community.”
With a full council of 12 members, the meeting progressed to the selection of a mayor for the consolidated cities. Former Sunnyside Mayor Doug Parsons and former East Carbon Councilwoman Barbara Robinett expressed interest in taking the responsibility of heading the new city.
Parsons spoke to the council about his ties to the community and his goals for the new city if he were elected mayor. He expressed the time he would be able to dedicate to the city because it would be his lone job. Parsons also voiced concerns that Robinett would not be able to adequately fulfill the duties of mayor due to her full time job.
“We can’t think as two anymore,” Parsons explained about the two cities. “My hope with this community is to move it forward and make it a place we can be proud of.”
Robinett also spoke to the council about her qualifications for the position, her goals for the new city and her personal mantra.
“I have been for the two cities merging for a long time,” Robinett stated. She went on to state her mantra, “We are one and it’s done.”
The council then voted for the new mayor. On the first vote, Parsons received five votes and Robinett grabbed four. Councilman Phillip Holt abstained from the vote due to his employment as an officer for the city. In order for a mayor to be elected, a candidate had to receive the majority vote (at least six votes.) The council voted again and each candidate received five votes due to one councilwoman voting for both Robinett and Parsons. Holt abstained from the second vote as well.
Concerns from community members in attendance at the meeting of Councilman Holt abstaining influenced him to vote the third time around. His vote elected Parsons as the mayor of the new city. Parsons was sworn in to office at the meeting.
Although some discussion regrading a possible name change for the consolidated cities took place at the meeting, no name change was agreed upon. Council members decided to table the matter to a future meeting.
Mayor Parsons and the council will now begin work on the further consolidation and advancement of the new city. They hope to create a bond between all members of the community and move forward a single solid force.