Citizens ask Mayor of Paintsville to resign

By Paige Quiggins | 

Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter is refusing to step down, despite calls for his resignation at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The calls came after accusations Porter got a free ride on his utility bill for nearly three years.

In a regularly scheduled city council meeting at the Paintsville Recreation Center, members of the community stood up to express their concern with the mayor. Some asked for his resignation.

“I asked for the mayor's resignation. He should be made to pay his bills just like everyone else is,” said Brenda Castle.

After $7,000 in utility bills went unpaid until recently, some wanted to know why his lights stayed on.

“They didn't answer not one question for me,” said Castle.

“Really, you didn't get a question answered here tonight,” said Jimmy Guess.

Guess said he was not asking for the mayor to resign, but he felt as an elected official, he should have addressed the concerns at the beginning of the meeting.

“They did not answer one question, he was asked several questions and he never answered one question.”

The council went into executive session without addressing the three people who publicly asked for Mayor Bob Porter to resign.

Some said they will keep demanding an explanation.

“Well I think what a lot of people here are aggravated about is that he didn't have to pay the penalties that we would be subjected to,” said Guess.

No action was taken during the executive session of the meeting. Mountain News was unable to get comment from council members or the mayor himself. There will be another special called meeting Thursday at noon at the recreation center.

Mayor Porter told Mountain News earlier today that he paid his bill at the end of June and this should not be an issue.

Porter blamed small-town politics for the controversy and said he never misled anyone. Mountain News was also told the Paintsville Utilities General Manager, Larry Herald, resigned last Friday