Sale City- Sale City Mayor Travis Flanders will have to add "former" to his title. Now, he is just an ordinary resident. Flanders turned in his keys to city hall after Thursday morning's special council meeting.
The council unanimously voted in favor of Flanders' resignation. But it didn't expect it so soon. Instead of a waiting until Monday like he'd planned, Flanders waited just seconds after a special council meeting this morning to make a decision about stepping down. "I resigned today. I did. I just said forget it," he says.
That's a decision Flanders says weighed heavily on him. It stems from a bad check written by the former mayor to reimburse Sale City for an oil change. "I went on workman's comp, and my check wasn't directly deposited anymore. So, basically that's my fault, and I understand that," says Flanders.
But Flanders' problem wasn't just insufficient funds. He says its the mix up after that. "It came back with account closed on it. The account's not closed," he says. Regardless of why the money wasn't there, Sale City still received a bad check from its mayor. No council members would talk to WALB about it on camera, but the city's residents say that grey area is what they had issue with. "The mayor did the right thing in voluntarily submitting his resignation," says resident Leroy Lewis.
Flanders' resignation marks the end to what he describes as a string of disagreements with the council, from the police department's working hours to code enforcement. "They think the mayor is a little puppet they can sit up there, and that the mayor does what the council wants him to do. That's not what people elect the mayor for. They elect the mayor to run the town," says Flanders.
Those are hard words the council disagrees with, but not hard feelings. "It's nothing personal. It just comes down to that my views and the council's views are two different things," says Flanders. Now the only problem left to solve is who will serve in Flanders' place.
The oil change Flanders bought was for a 700 mile trip to newly-elected officials school in February. The council didn't consider that part of his $75 per day expense allowance.