Smyrna City Council nominates Wheaton’s replacement, Kathy Young
On Monday, June 5, the Smyrna City Council is scheduled to vote on appointing Kathy Young to replace Ward 7 Councilman Lewis Wheaton.
Wheaton resigned from his council post after he moved out of his ward, becoming ineligible to serve. If approved by the council, Young will serve out the remainder of the year as District 7 Councilwoman. Wheaton, Mayor Derek Norton, and the other council members had indicated their support of Young to complete Wheaton’s term in office.
Young’s appointment comes after some back-and-forth controversy between Mayor Norton and Councilman Charles Welch.
Welch felt that an election should occur to fill the open position, while the Mayor and City Attorney Scott Cochran pointed to the charter which gave the mayor and council the power to nominate a candidate to complete the term. Welch made some controversial, and suggestive comments that the Mayor aggressively pushed back on.
During Thursday night’s work session, Deputy City Attorney Jeffrey Tucker pointed to the city charter, saying that if a vacancy is created less than six months before a regular election, it “shall be filled by mayor and council.” This means that Smyrna can move forward with Young’s appointment.
Young works at Campbell High School as a part-time college and career adviser. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in city planning from Georgia Tech. She is the former president of the Smyrna Education Foundation and has participated in other city committees and organizations including the Racial Trust Building Project and the Committee to Honor Fanny Williams. Young is also a graduate of the Smyrna Citizens Academy.
Young was present at the work session and spoke about her career and civic involvement.
Addressing Mayor Noton and the City Council, Young said, “I just want to say thank you for including me, but also just thank you for your consideration … I’ve been very grateful for Dr. Wheaton’s service. As a Ward 7 resident, obviously, I think he did a great job, and just the thoughtfulness that he brought to the public service time was really appreciated by me, and I think a lot of others.”
Young worked previously as an economic development consultant and worked on the Smyrna strategic vision plan adopted by the council in 2014.
Young is the mother of two children. — one a rising junior at Campbell High, the other a Campbell graduate.