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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:26

Webster commissioner resigns

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Webster Commissioner Mark Jamison resigned from the town’s board last week, citing unexplained issues with his real job as the community’s postmaster.

In a short letter by Jamison read aloud by Mayor Larry Phillips, Jamison said: “My service on the town board has begun to have an impact on my position as postmaster. Unfortunately in a public position such as mine I’m an easy target.

“Regretfully I must tender my resignation from the Webster town board effective immediately. It has been a pleasure serving with you.”

The letter was dated June 9.

Jamison had more than two years left on his term. Jamison’s seat likely will be filled with an appointment by the remaining town board members, said Lisa Lovedahl-Lehman, who oversees the Jackson County Board of Elections.

The postmaster took a seat on the town board after prevailing in an unusual write-in election in 2009. There were five open seats on the town board, but only two candidates signed up to run that year. The lack of interest by official candidate meant write-ins were destined to fill the slots on the town board. When Election Day rolled around, however, more than 20 write-in candidates emerged in an election that drew 42 voters. Jamison and Alan Grant, an instructor at Southwestern Community College, garnered as many votes as sitting town board members Billie Bryson and Jean Davenport, whose names officially appeared on the ballot.

Jamison, at the time, told The Smoky Mountain News that the unusual election process indicated to him that the town board didn’t have a message from voters to create change.

“It’s kind of weird, but what it tells you is you don’t have much of a mandate. It tells you people don’t want you to do a whole lot. In my case, I think I’ll tread lightly,” Jamison said.

Jamison has occasionally been outspoken on community issues, and a regular columnist and letter writer to local newspapers.

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