Chester mayor, council must work together

Chester city officials seem to have been at loggerheads in recent months when it comes to some of the city’s most basic decisions.

In July, during the first meeting of the new administration, efforts by Mayor Larry Forsythe to appoint a new police chief, city solicitor and city judge failed, with council instead re-appointing incumbent office holders Ken Thorn, April Raines and Curtis Parkins, respectively.

This week, a similar vote took place with the appointment of members of the city’s water and sewer board. One appointment – Councilman Ed Beaumont – was rejected due to lack of support from other members of council, while another went nowhere after the prospective appointee – Councilman John Woodruff – refused the position.

Even the city’s residents have come together to show their lack of approval for some of the suggested appointments. Council chambers have been crowded at some of the latest meetings, with some residents forced to stand in the halls outside and listen.

It is rare for us to see such a lack of teamwork and cooperation in Chester.

We hope this isn’t a sign of things to come for the city, and encourage the mayor and council to work toward some common ground for the sake of Chester’s residents.

After all, if the city’s public officials have this much trouble agreeing on key personnel decisions, what can we expect to see when the time comes to vote on the budget, a major city project or anything that could truly alter the course of the community for years to come?