Pelham council votes to replace Dickens with Rice as president

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In an unexpected move, the Pelham council voted 3-1 at its Aug. 7 council meeting to remove Mike Dickens as president of the council and replace him with Council President Pro Tempore Karyl Rice.

Dickens will remain on the council.

Councilmember Willard Payne made the motion, which was not scheduled on the agenda and had not been discussed in previous meetings, to replace Dickens as president.

&8220;In the past, when the mayor was still part of the council, he usually tried to work it out so that every councilmember served as president of the council for some time,&8221; Payne said. &8220;But since the mayor has been taken out of the council that hasn&8217;t happened.&8221;

Payne said he opted to vote for Rice to replace Dickens because he felt like it would be a good experience for her.

&8220;What if Mr. Dickens decided at the end of his term that he was not going to run again?&8221; Payne said. &8220;It&8217;s a good chance that one of them will still be on the council when it comes time to select our next council president.&8221;

Rice said she was excited about the opportunity to serve the city in a new capacity.

&8220;I&8217;m looking forward to the experience,&8221; she said. &8220;I hope that I will be able to do as good a job as Mike Dickens has.&8221;

Rice said she felt that there would be no problems with Dickens and her working together in the future.

&8220;We&8217;re both professional people,&8221; she said. &8220;I certainly believe that we will not have any problems.&8221;

Payne said that his vote was in no way a comment on Dickens&8217; ability to run the council.

&8220;There&8217;s no animosity here and I think Mike has done a great job,&8221; he said. &8220;This is simply a good chance to help others gain some first-hand experience in the position.&8221;

Rice will officially take over as the council&8217;s president at its Sept. 18 regular meeting. Attempts to reach Dickens were unsuccessful as of press time