The small southeastern Missouri community of Parma (population 713) made national news last week after some city officials reacted childishly to the election of the town's first black female mayor. According to recent census information, Parma is approximately one-third black and two-thirds white.
The new mayor, Tyrus Byrd, had formerly served as city clerk of the little town and by all appearances is fully qualified to run the place. She defeated Randall Ramsey, a man who had held the position for thirty-seven years. But controversy struck before the mayor-elect could even be sworn into office.
Five of the city's six police officers resigned, and the out-going mayor said that their resignations had to do with "safety concerns." The city attorney, clerk, and water supervisor turned in their resignations as well, and the city computers were "cleared" before the new mayor could take the helm.
Some local residents appeared to be relieved at the resignations, and noted that a town of just barely seven hundred people probably didn't need a police department of that size anyway.
Now the new mayor will have the opportunity to assess the town's actual needs free of all of the noise of entrenched individuals looking out for their own interests, and she will have the opportunity to put together her own competent team.
Best of luck, Mayor Byrd. Enjoy writing on your clean slate!