Avon swears in new council; reseats Hymes as mayor, Phillips as pro tem
Council’s first action is to vote on new leadership
Judge Cyrus “Buck” Allen seated Mayor Pro Tem Amy Phillips to another term on the Avon Town Council on Tuesday and also swore in first-term councilmembers RJ Andrade and Lindsay Hardy.
As a first order of business, the new councilmembers voted to retain Sarah Smith Hymes for another two years as mayor, a position she has held for the last two years. Hymes was nominated by Hardy, and no other councilmembers received nominations.
Acting as temporary mayor to preside over a transition between the two councils, Jennie Fancher congratulated Hymes for the uncontested victory.
“I don’t think we’ve had a unanimous vote for mayor since I’ve been on council,” Fancher said.
Fancher’s last day on council was Tuesday; she served eight years along with councilmember Jake Wolf, who also wrapped up two terms as an Avon elected official on Tuesday.
Hymes honored Fancher and Wolf for their time served, proclaiming Dec. 8, 2020 to be Jake Wolf and Jennie Fancher Day in the town of Avon.
4-3 vote for Phillips
The new council also voted to reseat Councilmember Amy Phillips, reelected in November, to another two-year term as Mayor Pro Tem.
That race was contested, with three members of the new council voting for councilmember Scott Prince to be Mayor Pro Tem.
Pondering her decision, Hardy saw herself in the difficult position of casting a swing vote on her first day on council. Hardy said she was in “full support” of both councilmembers seeking the mayor pro tem position.
But Hardy also pointed out that Prince has recused himself from agenda items more often than Phillips, and asked Prince what would happen if, absent a mayor, he were running a meeting as Avon mayor pro tem, and a topic came up from which he would have to recuse. Prince recused himself from a special meeting in October to discuss the foreclosure of a partially developed property, saying a mortgage lender for whom he works would like to do business with the future owner of the property.
“If there was an instance where, in the mayor pro tem role, that I had to do that, then we’d go out to council,” Prince said. “We would just say hey, can there be an alternative for that.”
Prince, Andrade and councilmember Chico Thuon voted for Prince while Phillips, Hymes, Hardy and Tamra Underwood voted for Phillips.
Underwood called Phillips one of the boldest humans that she knows.
“Amy is dependable, and I know as a councilor, I can rely on her for anything concerning town of Avon, the town that she loves and has invested in with her time and energy and know-how for decades,” Underwood said. “Amy always does her homework, she cracks the data and the data analysis more than anyone I’ve ever witnessed on this council.”
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