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Como Mayor

In Como, who is the mayor up in the air

By John Howell Sr.

At press time for this edition, no one seems to know who is presently Mayor of Como or – perhaps more importantly – who will be authorized to sign the Friday paychecks for the town’s municipal workers.

In a ruling issued May 16, Judge Kenneth M. Burns ordered that Judy Sumner be declared winner of the May 17, 2005, runoff election for Como mayor. Judge Burns’ ruling overturned — supposedly — the legal struggle through the circuit and state supreme court since the May 24, 2005, decision of the Como Democratic Executive Committee that declared Azria “Bobby” Lewers to be the mayor.

“Right now, I know that we’ve got a court order to abide by; it’s just not real clear,” Como board attorney Parker Still said.

The order included no language directing Lewers to vacate the seat immediately. There is a window following Burns’ ruling during which Lewers can appeal, Still said. The length of time is unclear — either 10 days or 30 days.

Mayor — or former Mayor — Lewers’ signature is presently required on all checks issued by the town, including today’s payroll checks. Still said on Thursday that the town is still seeking information from the Attorney General’s office to determine how to proceed.

Meanwhile, Andrew Cook, who was unsuccessful in his attempt to qualify in April to qualify as a candidate in a special election for alderman, was scheduled to be heard at 9 a.m. today in DeSoto County.

Cook brought suit against the Como Election Commission which declared Bill Mitchell to be the only candidate to have legally qualified for the vacant alderman post.

Circuit Judge Bobby Chamberlain of DeSoto County will hear Cook’s petition.