The vote against Livingston comes after the mayor, against the advice of town counsel, released attorney-client privileged information to the public that concerned an investigation involving the resignation of the former town secretary, Laura Calcote, last year and other incidents involving employees at town hall, according to discussion at the meeting.
Council members voting no-confidence were Gordon Baethge, Rick Bradford, Cynthia Hermann and Ronald Schmidt. Sherri Myers was the lone opposed vote.
“I’m sad that this is where we are today,” Hermann said, noting she and Livingston worked closely together at one time on council, that they once campaigned together and that she considered him a friend. However, she said she no longer recognizes Livingston and can’t support him anymore.
Livingston will remain mayor for the rest of his term, telling Community Impact by email later that the vote was "symbolic and has no practical effect."
“I can no longer support Mr. Livingston in this role,” Bradford said. “I have no faith.”
Myers, on the other hand, expressed her support for the mayor, thanking him for stepping into his role that she said has been “thankless” and “high pressure.”
In the upcoming May 6 election, Livingston opted not to run for mayor again and is running for Place 2 against Schmidt. Bradford is running unopposed for mayor. In Place 4, currently occupied by Bradford, Cindy Sheddy faces Casey Stewart.
Early voting for the election began this week.
The no-confidence vote concerned how Livingston released the Calcote report to the public against both council and city counsel wishes. The outside law firm that conducted the investigation cleared Livingston of any wrongdoing, and the mayor said he wanted people to see the report so there was transparency. Community Impact has not been able to review the report.
Town counsel, attorney Brenda McDonald, attended the meeting and said the report was meant to be confidential and that the mayor’s actions went against legal advice. She said the attorney-client privilege belongs to the town, or town council, not one individual council member. She said there was no legal consequence from the council’s move, but the council, if it desired, could pursue having the mayor removed from his position and would have to file a petition in a district court to do so.