The city of Forsyth will see at least one new face after the April General Municipal Election in 2023.
Forsyth Mayor Kelly Dougherty officially announced she will not seek re-election during the upcoming April election during the Monday, Nov. 22, Forsyth Aldermen meeting.
Dougherty stepped into the role of mayor in December 2019 when she was appointed, after then Forsyth Mayor Eddie Coleman stepped down due to health reasons. Dougherty was sworn in and officially began her duties as the new mayor on Dec. 19, 2019. Dougherty was retired from her position as technology director at the Forsyth School District, which she had held for 20 years,when she accepted the appointment. She has since been elected to three terms as mayor.
After retiring from the school, Dougherty said she needed more things to occupy her time, so she started working as a registration specialist for Cox Hospital in Branson. Now she says she is needing to take some time back to enjoy life.
“Basically, I helped Forsyth get through COVID and who would have thought when I signed up that we would be going through a pandemic,” Dougherty told Branson Tri-Lakes News. “We all worked hard trying to get a community through a pandemic that nobody’s ever seen before. I was putting in about 30 hours a week for months and it was exhausting. And I feel like we did well, with the help of the commissioners and the health department and everything. It was a very good group and we got through that. Now, I’m just exhausted. I’m tired. I have my grandbaby. I work anywhere from 45 to 50 hours for Cox a week. So I’m just struggling. I don’t feel like I’m devoting the time that needs to be devoted to the city. I feel like I’m cheating the city a little bit by not having the amount of time that this really needs. It doesn’t need 30 hours, like during the pandemic, but it does need more than I have time to give right now.”
Dougherty said she hopes the right people step up to have their names put on the ballot this month for April.
“I want somebody in here that does have the time to devote,” Dougherty said. “It is a volunteer position. It takes a lot of time and right now I’m the police officer’s direct supervisor. So that is, you know, a job too. It’s just a lot and so I just think there’s some great community members that could step up and take this in and run with it.”
Dougherty said she will still be involved with the city, but just not in an official capacity after the election.
“I plan on still attending aldermen meetings just not from behind the table,” Dougherty said. “I have loved the amount of residents getting involved and coming out to meetings lately. It is nice to see people taking an interest.”
The candidate filing dates for the Mayor, the Ward I Alderman seat, currently held by Dennis Winzenried and Ward II Alderman seat, currently held by Scott Novak will take begin on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Candidates will have until Tuesday, Dec. 27 to file in order to appear on the April ballot. Filings for the three races must be filed at the Forsyth City Municipal Building, located at 15405 US Highway 160 in Forsyth.
For more information call Forsyth City Hall at 417-546-4763.
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