La Crosse mayor resigns, replaced by Tanner
In a quickly unfolding chain of events at the La Crosse Town Council meeting on Monday night, council members played musical chairs among their positions and ultimately emerged from the meeting with a new mayor.
According to the La Crosse town charter, the president of council serves as mayor in the mayor’s absence. In Mayor Jay Spence’s absence on Monday, Council President David Williams began officiating the meeting but immediately resigned his position as president of council, asking to retain his normal seat on council.
With the president position now open, council appointed Councilman Tom Tanner to the position. Tanner took the mayor’s seat to officiate the meeting.
One of his first orders of business was to announce the resignation of Mayor Jay Spence. Tanner read a very brief letter from Spence that stated he could no longer fill the position of mayor, citing personal reasons.
Tanner said he would be serving as mayor for the remainder of the unexpired term, as his new president of council title stipulates.
Tanner’s move into the mayor’s seat left two vacancies — one for the president of council position and one for Tanner’s vacated regular council seat.
Tanner called for the appointment of a new president of council. Williams accepted the nomination to be reappointed to the position and was unanimously voted back into the seat.
Council noted it has 45 days to replace Tanner’s regular council position.
In the May 2016 election, Spence narrowly defeated Tanner and current town manager F.A. Hendrick in a three-way race for mayor. Spence was dogged throughout his year-long term as mayor after he was incarcerated for failing to follow a protective order last summer, bringing forth a vote of no confidence from council in August 2016.
Moving into other business on Monday night, Tanner asked council for action regarding the ongoing zip code situation that resurfaced at last month’s meeting.
Tanner asked for a motion, at the request of the town of South Hill, to allow the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to have a South Hill zip code and consider a change for the other affected businesses.
Two council members commented, and no action was taken. No one made a motion.
Councilman Jeff Edmonds spoke against the idea, as did Williams, both saying they don’t want to hurt the La Crosse Post Office.
In regard to allowing the hospital to have a South Hill zip code, Edmonds said that if the hospital is allowed, it may “open a door” and other businesses or residents may want to follow suit.
However, one of the reasons council members spoke against the change is they said a survey went out several years ago in regard to the matter and the vast majority of those in the affected area wished to remain a La Crosse zip code.
No action was taken regarding the matter, only brief talk about holding a meeting with representatives from the postal service and South Hill. No date was discussed or set for the possible future meeting regarding the zip code issue.