Keith Kimmel chosen as interim mayor of Advance

Sunday, November 8, 2009
@Cutline - Body Copy:Advance Alderman Keith Kimmel takes the oath as the new mayor of Advance at the Thursday meeting of the Advance Board of Aldermen. (MADELINE DeJOURNETT ~ Daily Statesman)

ADVANCE, Mo. -- In a special meeting, the Advance Board of Aldermen chose a new mayor Thursday night. Alderman Keith Kimmel was elevated to the new position after a previously planned Nov. 3 election was found to violate state statutes.

Kimmel was completing his second term of office as alderman and was scheduled to retire on April 6. He had no plans to run again when his fellow aldermen asked him to take the new position until a permanent mayor could be elected in April.

"I'll accept the position on only two conditions," said Kimmel, a retired engineer who agreed to run for alderman when asked by former mayor James Harnes. "If Leeman Shirrell will continue to be Mayor Pro Tem, as he has been since the mayor's injury, and if all the city employees and citizens will help me."

Kimmel expressed his desire to consult with former Mayor James J. Harnes Sr., who ran the city for the last 14 years until an accident forced him to retire.

With Kimmel's acceptance of the mayoral office, Mayor Pro Tem Leeman Shirrell returns to his old position of alderman until April 2011.

"I feel it's important for me to stay on another year," said Shirrell. "With all the changes, I think we need some continuity. However, I do not plan to run for re-election in 2011."

Shirrell is the most senior of the four-member board of aldermen, which includes Randy Schrader, Wayne Page and newly-appointed alderman Ginger Hewitt, a local businesswoman.

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