(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
"I've never liked to be called second class. I've always thought our citizens are first class and our town is first class," Leachville Mayor Ralph Wells said.
Leachville received their certificate recently signed by the Secretary of State Charlie Daniel, State Auditor Jim Wood, and Attorney General Mike Beebe.
Wells explained that the city must show the population to be large enough to entitle advancement. The City Council members have to pass an ordinance to go First Class if you don't have a population of 2,500. Cities with a population of 1,500 to 2,500 have the option of being a First Class or Second Class City.
"Being a First Class City, the council has the authority to hire the bookkeeper/treasurer. The clerk will be elected every four years. The Council hired Ruth Ann Keith as bookkeeper/treasurer and appointed her to serve as clerk until the next election," Wells said. "The City Council is over property and finances of the city and the mayor is over the department heads and takes care of the day to day city business. As far as governing the city, I think being a First Class City, there is more control and I think that will be an advantage to us. Many of the laws apply to First Class Cities. Under the Second Class status, the city has more leadway to do what they want. That can make us lapse sometimes."
Mayor Wells said City Attorney Mike Bearden directed the city officials through the process of advancement status.
"We are growing. We have a Dollar store going in, a new bank and a new restaurant to add to our established businesses. We have plans to improve our park through grant funding. We have some building going and hopefully, that will continue," Wells said.
Wells pointed out that there will not be any difference in the way the council members are elected. That will remain the same.
"As I said before, I think our first class citizens deserve to have a First Class City," Wells said.