Cordner to step down as mayor of Frannie

A second town in north Big Horn County will soon be seeking a new mayor.

The very week that Byron Mayor Bret George announced his resignation, Frannie Mayor Jack Cordner announced that he will resign as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

“The outcome of the past election suggests a call for a change in the supervision of the day-to-day affairs of the Town,” Cordner wrote in a memo to Town Clerk Brook Loyning on Monday, Nov. 12.

Jack Cordner

“In my view, that all can best be answered by the selection of a mayor from among the newly-elected council members. While I am resigning as mayor, I have not resigned my willingness to speak out for, and represent, the interests of the people of Frannie and the rest of Big Horn County.

“In the meantime, I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity to be of service to this proud town.”

In a follow-up interview Monday, Nov. 19, Cordner said he wants to avoid future contention “with one individual people elected to the council that, to my understanding, has at least one strong supporter on the council,” adding, “It has been my experience that, even in situations where you have a majority, if you have two people who want to oppose you, being productive can become a very difficult task at that point.

“I have mentioned to people in town that in 2006 I retired from a very stressful job and while I fully welcome any opportunity to be of service, if it gets into a situation of significant stress, I really prefer that someone else handle the position. I would have two very strong opponents on the council.”

Cordner said he was referring specifically to Terry Moore, who was nominted in the August Primary Election with write-in votes, and then was elected to a four-year seat on the council Nov. 6 with 40 votes. Also elected to a four-year seat was Vance Peregoy. Elected to two-year seats were Nadine Kreutzer and Delbert Johnson.

Cordner displayed a letter to the editor printed on Aug. 18, 2011, in which Moore defended his actions as a former town employee, blasting the town and saying that Cordner “has no backbone and no common sense.”

“I still stand ready to be of service to the town and to the county,” Cordner said. “I don’t believe this will be the last time you will see my name on a ballot, but I don’t foresee running for an elective office in the Town of Frannie.

“I’m going to miss it. I just pray that whoever replaces me is willing to devote at least two to three hours of their week to the town. I would certainly like to see them attend the meetings of the nine mayors. The next one is in January in Basin.”

A new mayor must be appointed from the ranks of the council. If the council elects to choose from the current members, the new mayor would be Peregoy, Kreutzer, Ron Logan or Brenda Kawano. If the council decides to wait until new members take office on Jan. 1, the mayor could also be Moore or Johnson.

By David Peck