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story.lead_photo.caption Michelle Rieff, who held a council seat in Highfill, was appointed the mayor and sworn in by Stacie Williamson, the treasurer-recorder and acting mayor on Tuesday, April 10, at the Highfill Council meeting. She was appointed by the vote of all her fellow council members. - Photo by Randy Moll

— Michelle Rieff, who served as the Ward 1, Position 1, councilwoman for Highfill, was appointed mayor of the city at the regular April 10 council meeting in the Highfill City Hall. The council vote followed an executive session of the council to discuss candidates for the appointment.

The vote was four in favor, with Rieff abstaining in the council vote.

Following the swearing in of Rieff as mayor by Stacie Williamson, city recorder-treasurer and acting mayor, the council heard from four residents living in Ward 2 in regard to their willingness to serve out the remainder of Roger Hill’s term as alderman — Hill resigned his post prior to the April meeting. Those volunteering to serve included Nicholas Maier, Mark Taylor, Cade Alsbury and Chris Holland.

Following another executive session to consider the qualification of candidates for the council post, Chris Holland was appointed, with David Williamson and Toby Lester voting in favor and Wesley Evans and Mark White voting against the appointment. Michelle Rieff broke the tie by casting a vote in favor of Holland, and Holland was then sworn in by Rieff.

The council passed a resolution establishing a city repository board consisting of the mayor, the recorder-treasurer and councilman Chris Holland. The financial report for March was also approved unanimously.

Holland told the council he would like to see the city move forward with a plan to clean up the new subdivisions and to get the city’s website up and working.

Toby Lester said he saw the council actions and the people’s interest in serving as a positive step in the healing process for Highfill. Both he and Rieff thanked those expressing an interest in serving on the council and urged them to consider running for office in the November election.

Chris Holland is sworn in an alderman by Michelle Rieff, Highfill’s new mayor, on April 10. Holland was appointed by the council to fill the unexpired term of Roger Hill as alderman for the Ward 2, Position 1, seat on the council.

The appointments came after Highfill’s elected mayor, Stacy Digby, resigned shortly before being arrested on March 28 in connection with sex crimes involving a teen. Digby, 44, was elected in 2010 and was nearing the end of his second term when he was arrested.

In a March 28 letter, Digby stated his resignation was effective immediately. He thanked the city for allowing him to serve and wrote of the financial difficulties confronting the town when he first took office and of the much-improved outlook for the city today.

At next month's council meeting, the council may consider an appointment to fill Rieff's (Ward 1, Position1) unexpired term on the council.

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