The division between Harlem city council members and the mayor may be coming to head.
At Monday's city council meeting, Mayor Pro-Tem Scott Dean announced he would be stepping down from his position to seek election as Mayor. John Bentley currently holds that title.
His reason for running is simple.
Dean said he wants to put an end to the internal bickering that has taken place between council members and Bentley, especially concerning the topic of Oliver Hardy.
From the yearly festival to the recent grand opening of the museum, government officials have agreed on very little, Dean said.
"Everything involving Oliver Hardy has been a sticking point," he said. "There has been no representation from the office of the mayor from any of that."
Current Mayor John Bentley said on Monday he would reserve comment on the race for now, but did agree there has been a breakdown in communication.
Much of the miscommunication has come at public meetings, when seemingly every member of council disagreed with the mayor, Dean said.
"If all of us are on the same page, there is no telling what we could accomplish," Dean said. "But right now all the energy is being spent doing damage control"
As of now, Mr. Dean and Mayor Bentley are the only people expected to run for the position. Anyone interested in becoming mayor must first qualify during the days of Aug. 26 to 29. The election is Nov. 5.
Aside from limiting the disagreements council members and the mayor have, Dean said he is looking forward to the chance to help the City of Harlem grow while maintaining its small town feel.
Dean said he would like to see the downtown area be expanded on and will encourage citizens to be more vocal and active in the affairs of city government.
"I see the mayor as a leader who listens to the citizens as well as members of council," Dean said. "Right now I don't see that happening."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.