Mayor Mike Vestal resigns
A week after Mayor Mike Vestal resigned when it was learned he sent an inappropriate e-mail from a computer he uses in his duties with the city’s answering service, the man first in line to succeed him is undecided about taking the job.
Tonganoxie City Council President Jason Ward said Tuesday he was still considering his options. In an e-mail to The Tonganoxie Mirror, Ward said he would announce his decision at Monday’s city council meeting.
Vestal resigned July 28, two days after admitting he sent an obscene e-mail for his city-owned answering service computer.
“That’s my decision,” Vestal said. “I did it for the betterment of the city. The focus needs to be on city business.
“I gave this a lot of thought and talked it over with my minister. I will devote my life to Christ. I want to continue on the economic development committee I started. I’m excited about that.”
Vestal admitted at the July 26 Tonganoxie City Council meeting that he sent the obscene e-mail. The admission came after Councilwoman Paula Crook twice referred to the e-mail.
Crook said that Vestal did the right thing in resigning.
“I wish Mike the best,” she said. “I’m sure he’s doing what’s best for him and the city of Tonganoxie.”
Vestal brought stability to the City Council and helped the community focus on its needs, Councilman Tom Putthoff said.
“To me, it’s a sad day for Tonganoxie,” he said. “He tried to be a good leader. Nobody’s perfect, but he did move us forward in some areas.”
According to city code, Ward would become mayor if that was his choice. If Ward declines the position, the council would elect a mayor from among its members.
City Counsel Mike Kelly said the new mayor would then appoint a new council member, subject to confirmation by the council. The seat of the appointed council member will be contested in next April’s election.
Vestal’s four-year term was also to expire next spring. He defeated incumbent Mayor Dave Taylor, 365-341, in April 2007 to win the position.
In September of that year, Vestal apologized and offered to resign when it was learned that he sent an e-mail from his answering service computer with a picture of women with naked breasts and the words: “Next Monday is National Female Breast Appreciation Day” and “Beats the (expletive) out of Martin Luther King Day! Doesn’t It?”