WATER VALLEY – Newly elected city officials took office Tuesday morning in Water Valley minus one alderman.
Newly elected Ward 2 Alderman Ray Hawkins vacated the position prior to Tuesday’s oath of office ceremony.
“There were a set of unforseen circumstances that could possibly put my current full-time employment in jeopardy,” Hawkins told the Herald. He is currently employed as assistant police chief at University Police Department at Ole Miss.
Hawkins told the Herald he had researched the issue prior to announcing his candidacy, but found out after the fact that serving as alderman in Water Valley could conflict with his job in law enforcement.
Hawkins said he met with Mayor Larry Hart last Friday and turned in a letter vacating the position this week.
Hawkins defeated incumbent Fred White in the Democratic Primary election in May, 63-54.
Hawkins said a special election will be held in August to fill the vacancy and in the meantime the board will appoint someone.
He also said his wife, Kathleen Hawkins, will be on the ballot in the special election.
“The people who voted for change can still get that,” Hawkins said.