Heartland mayor chosen by drawing names - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland mayor chosen by drawing names


The city of Poplar Bluff has a new mayor after quite a long and unique process. Ultimately, the city council chose the new city leader by drawing a name out of a cup.

Mayor Betty Absheer is no stranger to the office of mayor in Poplar Bluff. This will be her fifth time to serve.

She said while she wasn't expecting her name to be drawn, she's excited to serve the people of Poplar Bluff once again.

“I never, ever dreamed I would serve on the city council and I didn't have any idea I'd stay this long whenever I was elected, but it's been an honor for me,” Absheer said.

Absheer has been a councilwoman for more than 25 years. She said this is the first time she knows of that appointing the mayor has come down to drawing names.

“I just knew that there'd be a name drawn out of there, I just really hadn't given it much thought to whether it'd be mine,”Absheer said.

But, it was. The drawing included six names, all council members. It came after two tie votes.

“Because of the statute the way it's written, we had to draw by lot and the city attorney Robert Smith drew by lot and then Betty Absheer became mayor,” Councilman Philip Crocker said.

Serving his first term, Crocker was one of the nominees for mayor when the vote ended in a tie, but he says he's not disappointed that he's not serving in that way.

“The mayor for Poplar Bluff, they sign papers, they go to ribbon cuttings and do that sort of thing, public appearances for the city council, but their votes no different than everyone else's,” Crocker said.

It's a role Absheer enjoys.

She's lived in Poplar Bluff all her life and even served as the first woman mayor in 1993.

She said she's excited, along with the rest of council, to help Poplar Bluff continue to grow.

“We want to see our eight points development completed and we have highways and road constructions going on that we want to see completed,” Absheer said.

She said regardless of mayor, the goal is the same.

“This is a great place to live and we want it that way for the future of our children and grandchildren that are growing up in our city now,” Absheer said.

The city of Poplar Bluff is a city manager/city council form of government. The people do not elect the mayor directly. The mayor is chosen among the city council and serves a one year term.

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