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Kahoka Mayor Jerry Webber Dead At 66

The Kahoka community came to quiet pause on Wednesday morning, as word that Kahoka Mayor Jerry Webber had unexpectedly passed away spread.

Webber was first elected as a Kahoka West Ward Alderman in 1993, and was elected as Mayor in 2013.

He was a retired Senior Design Engineer from John Deere, and was involved in several community

organizations, include St. Paul United Church of Christ, Industrial Opportunities board, Economic Development board, Kahoka State Bank Board of Directors, and was a past Master of St. Francisville Lodge #588, A.F.&A.M. Funeral services were held Saturday, January 8, at St. Paul. Webber’s untimely death leaves a vacancy as Mayor of Kahoka, and a huge loss of experience and knowledge in the government of the city. Of the four city aldermen, three are relative newcomers, with two having been appointed in 2021. Larry Young, the other West Ward alderman, has served 36 years as an alderman and as Mayor.

We reached out to City Attorney Brett Bozarth to find out what the process for selecting a successor to Webber would be.

According to Bozarth: The City of Kahoka is a fourth-class City. Chapter 79 of the Missouri Revised Statute applies in this situation. Section 79.100, RSMo., provides as follows:

When any vacancy shall happen in the office of mayor by death, resignation, removal from the city, removal from office, refusal to qualify, or from any other cause whatever, the acting president of the board of aldermen shall, for the time being, perform the duties of mayor, with all the rights, privileges, powers and jurisdiction of the mayor, until such vacancy be filled or such disability be removed; or, in case of temporary absence, until the mayor’s return.

Section 79.280, RSMo., provides as follows:

If a vacancy occurs in any elective office, the mayor or the person exercising the duties of the mayor shall cause a special meeting of the board of aldermen to convene where a successor to the vacant office shall be selected by appointment by the mayor with the advice and consent of a majority of the remaining members of the board of aldermen. If the vacancy is in the office of mayor, nominations of a successor may be made by any member of the board of aldermen and selected with the consent of a majority of the members of the board of aldermen. The board of aldermen may adopt procedures to fill vacancies consistent with this section. The successor shall serve until the next regular municipal election. If a vacancy occurs in any office not elective, the mayor shall appoint a suitable person to discharge the duties of such office until the first regular meeting of the board of aldermen thereafter, at which time such vacancy shall be permanently filled.

Section 115.060 of the Municipal Code of the City of Kahoka, Missouri, provides as follows:

If a vacancy occurs in any elective office, the Mayor or the person exercising the duties of the Mayor shall cause a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen to convene where a successor to the vacant office shall be selected by appointment by the Mayor with the advice and consent of a majority of the remaining members of the Board of Aldermen. If the vacancy is in the office of Mayor, nominations of a successor may be made by any member of the Board of Aldermen and selected with the consent of a majority of the members of the Board of Aldermen. The Board of Aldermen may adopt procedures to fill vacancies consistent with this Section. The successor shall serve until the next regular municipal election. If a vacancy occurs in any office not elective, the Mayor shall appoint a suitable person to discharge the duties of such office until the first (1st) regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen thereafter, at which time such vacancy shall be permanently filled.

To answer your question, the President of the Board of Aldermen will handle the duties of Mayor for the time being. A special meeting will be called where nominations of a successor Mayor may be made by any member of the Board of Aldermen and selected with the consent of the majority of the members of the Board of Aldermen. The successor Mayor does not need to be a current member of the Board. The person appointed by the Board will need to be able to meet the other qualifications/ requirements to serve as Mayor. The successor Mayor shall serve until the next regular election.