BRISTOL, Tenn. — Current Vice Mayor Mahlon Luttrell seems poised to assume the role of mayor with current Councilman Vince Turner joining him as the new vice mayor when Bristol Tennessee City Council reorganizes at its meeting next Tuesday evening.
At the 7 p.m. session on July 7, council is set to select who among them will serve as mayor and vice mayor for the next 12 months. Unanimous consensus appears to already exist.
Four members of council, Mayor Margaret Feierabend, Councilman Chad Keen, Councilwoman Lea Powers and Turner all said they support Luttrell as mayor. Luttrell, 65, hesitated to say his selection is definite, but he said he will step into the role if asked.
“If it is the will of City Council, I would be very honored to serve in that position,” he said.
Additionally, Feierabend, Keen, Powers and Luttrell said they will support Turner as vice mayor. Last year, Turner, 50, said he wasn’t interested in serving as mayor or vice mayor, but this year he took a different tone.
“I support Mahlon as mayor; if asked, I will serve [as vice mayor],” he said.
Under the city charter, the mayor and vice mayor are selected by council members, not by citizens. The mayor serves a largely ceremonial role and has no significant executive or administrative powers or duties beyond those of the other members of council. The role of vice mayor is to fill in for the mayor if he or she is absent from a meeting or, if the position is vacated, fill the role for the remainder of the year.
Luttrell and Turner, who were elected to their first terms in May 2019, are the only members of council who have not served as mayor.
Feierabend, who was the city’s first female mayor when she was appointed in 1997, has served as mayor several times over the last two decades and is currently serving a second consecutive term. She said she expects Luttrell and Turner to get the nominations, and she supports them both.
Keen has supported the idea of Luttrell serving as mayor for some time. Prior to council reorganizing in July 2019, Keen told the Bristol Herald Courier he hoped Luttrell would take the position in 2020 and serve two terms.
Powers said she supports the appointment of both men and hopes they will accept.
“Both Mahlon and Vince are very studied in regard to city matters and will provide outstanding, continued leadership,” she said.