City of Oxford fills vacant seat

OXFORD - The Oxford City Council voted again Monday night to fill the unexpired term of Jerry Roseberry.

After a roll-call voice vote, the council selected former City Councilwoman Emma Lou Patterson to fill the Council Post 4 seat as a replacement for Roseberry, who resigned earlier this year to run for mayor in the municipal election.

Patterson was one of four people nominated by council members in November. Other candidates were Virgil Eady, Bill Shapiro and Norbert Thompson.

At the November regular meeting, council members and Mayor William Murdy voted by ballot and selected Eady after two tied votes.

However, City Attorney David Strickland advised the council at its next work session that they should have voted another way to be in compliance with the city charter.

"Voting on the adoption of ordinances shall be by voice vote or raising of right hand and ... any member of the City Council shall have the right to request a roll-call vote," Section 2.21 of the charter reads.

At Monday's meeting, Councilman Jim Windham requested the roll-call vote, which resulted in him selecting Patterson, along with Murdy, Councilwoman Amma Gaither and Councilman Hoyt Oliver. Councilmen Terry Smith and George Holt selected Eady, who was not available for comment as of press time.

"I was impressed with her previous four years on the council," Oliver said about Patterson, who ran unopposed in November 2001 and served a four-year term. She was then defeated by Roseberry in 2005.

"She came up with the idea for some of Oxford's SPLOST funds to be used for the new maintenance facility," Oliver said.

Oliver also said the city needed a better "mix" of people on the council.

"We need representatives from different areas of Oxford, and she lives on Stone Street; I also thought we ought to have a mix of men and women," he said.

Patterson, who was not available for comment as of press time, also served on the planning commission, so the council will have to vote at a later time to replace her membership there, as she is not allowed to serve in both places.

Patterson was sworn in by Strickland Monday night and began serving immediately.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.