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White residents locked out of city hall

Hang around with certain residents in the village of White long enough and you begin to smell a rat.

There has always been talk of underhanded deals and good old boy favors and all kinds of “isms,” from boosterism to favoritism to nepotism for years.

That all came to a head Monday afternoon, the week after municipal elections, when a rumor emerged that current city councilman Jimmy Bennett had resigned and outgoing mayor Chris Allen was going to appoint former police chief David King to replace Bennett.

Another rumor said Allen had resigned too.

King had lost last week’s mayoral race, and for him to be appointed to the council seat was the last straw for many.

“There’s a bunch of people that don’t agree with that,” one man said. “The one that come in third in the election should be appointed. That’s the fair way to do it.”

By 6 p.m., the parking lot was nearly full and still more faithful arrived, now numbering between 20 and 30 very angry citizens. Their anger accelerated when they learned the meeting had been cancelled and the building was locked.

Mayor-elect Kim Billue and council-elect Tina Wilhite were there but said there was little they could do until they are sworn in.

“It’s very unprofessional,” Billue said. “To call off a meeting and not tell anyone is just wrong.”

The crowd vowed to return for the council’s next meeting on Monday, Dec. 4. “We’re not going to let them get away with this,” one man said.

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