Star City mayor to step down, then seek office again in 2014

Star City Mayor Gene Yarbrough, following a special (and closed) City Council meeting on Thursday, announced via a press release that he would retire from the mayor’s office effective Dec. 31.

Yarbrough, who has been mayor for 23 years, explained that he plans to run for the mayor’s office again in November 2014. He said he needed to take a one-year “sabbatical,” or an official retirement, because if he died while still in office —without retiring first — his wife would not be eligible to collect his pension. However, should he be re-elected in 2014 and begin a seventh term in office, his pension would still be secure and the city would no longer have to pay a 14 percent match because his pension could no longer accrue funds.

Yarbrough said last week that he expected the council would appoint Economic Development Coordinator Dwayne Snyder as interim mayor.

However, the council met in regular session on Monday and went into a 37-minute executive session. After reconvening, Councilman David McCoy announced that the council would not appoint an interim mayor that night.

“The mayor is resigning effective Dec. 31 and, so we could allow public input into the situation, I make a motion that we table the appointment of his position until the January council meeting,” McCoy said, followed by a unanimous vote of the council. The January meeting will likely be on Jan. 13. There was no further public discussion of the matter.

“It’s been fun doing this,” said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough said Recorder-Treasurer Linda Farley will be in charge as of Jan. 1 until an interim mayor is appointed.

“I’ll be a great part of the town and I always will be,” Yarbrough said.