Leadership problems leave town in "Height" of confusion

By CJ Cassidy
HAYTI HEIGHTS, MO (KFVS) - We've told you about the problems plaguing the community of Hayti Heights in the past year.
First, the city judge and prosecutor resigned.  Then, the police chief filed suit against the mayor and board of aldermen.  Now the police chief has been fired, and there's questions about the mayor.
Folks in Hayti Heights call it the "height of confusion."
"We need a good mayor!" said Alderwoman Theola Mooney.
She explains she voted to accept Mayor Lawrence Newman's resignation at a city council meeting.
"The mayor resigned on September 16th meeting as of October 15th," she said.
Newman would only say he is still mayor and declined comment beyond that.
City Clerk Debra Borders says she wrote up the minutes from that meeting the way she saw them unfold.
The council minutes state "The motion was made by Alderman Greg to accept the decision of the mayor wanting to leave and that the mayor had until October 15th to make a final decision on leaving."
But folks like Alex Cooper, who regularly attends council meetings says that is not what happened.
"The Mayor offered his resignation effective the 15th of October," Cooper said. "The vote was taken three to one. How the minutes got transcribed this way I have no idea."
"He needs to sit down so we can get city back on track if we can," Mooney said. "We are indebted to everybody."
That's only part of the problem.
City leaders impeached former Police Chief Vernis Farmer, leaving Hayti Heights with just one officer on duty.
"A lot of people come here. We have a lot of break-ins in Hayti Heights, and we need more than one police in the Heights," Delores Green said.
"One officer can't do all the shifts that need to be done in this city," Mooney said.
Residents hope city leaders hire another officer soon.
Meanwhile, the new city attorney says if a mayor simply says he plans on resigning, then legally he can still retract his decision.
Again, folks in town say that is not what happened in this case.