Two months after being escorted out of a Plum Grove City Council meeting for speaking out of turn, former mayor Lee Ann Penton-Walker now has a seat at the table.
She was appointed Monday night by Council to the unexpired term of Israel Lopez, who resigned from his seat in October. The term expires in May 2024.
At that time, Penton-Walker will have to seek the position in an election if she wishes to keep it.
Penton-Walker’s appointment came after former Councilwoman Diana Chunn offered herself for the empty seat on Council. Chunn served on Council for a number of years before losing to Councilman Kevin Lee in the May 2023 election.
“I’d like to put myself in that position if you guys would let me in. I was ready to do it last meeting but you guys tabled it because there was nobody else as a choice. So I would like to apply for it again,” said Chunn.
The Council made no response immediately and the council chamber was quiet for a few moments following Chunn’s remarks. Councilwoman Danielle Enloe then spoke up to say, “I feel like at this point we need someone with some kind of experience. At this point I feel like Lee Ann would be a better choice, so I make a motion to appoint Lee Ann.”
Councilman Rodney Walker tried to second the appointment of Penton-Walker, as he was not aware that he cannot make such motions as he is married to Penton-Walker. Mayor Mary Arrendell and City Secretary Missy Pouncey reminded him of the rules. Councilman Kevin Lee then seconded Enloe’s motion and a vote was taken with a majority voting in favor of Penton-Walker’s appointment.
Once again the room was completely quiet until Mayor Arrendell voiced her concerns regarding having a married couple serving together on council.
“I am going to disagree with this and I am going to write a letter to explain why. I don’t see how it’s possible to put someone in there that is married to someone else (meaning another council member),” Arrendell said.
Penton-Walker then pushed Council to take a vote.
“You have to take a vote tonight,” Penton-Walker said.
After most council members agreed, Penton-Walker was eager to get sworn in but was told to wait until the end of the meeting, as has been the practice for other council members in the past.
After discussions on fire department and police department’s call volumes, Penton-Walker was sworn into her position.