Coin flip installs Paul Penrod
in Spring City council
By Doug Lowe
SPRING CITY—The newest city council member won his appointment with the flip of a coin by Mayor Cynthia DeGray at special council meeting March 25.
Paul Pernrod was sworn in as the town’s newest council member after he tied for first place with Courtney Syme and then won a tie-breaking coin toss.
After Councilman Tom Brunner resigned earlier in the month, a public notice invited interested citizens to submit their application for appointment to serve out the remainder of Brunner’s term.
A total of four citizens applied to be considered for that appointment and each of them was interviewed at the special meeting. They were Rae Lynn Ferguson, Joseph Fuchsel, Syme and Penrod.
With social distancing having become the rule of the day, and with meetings of more than ten person being banned, the meeting was structured in such a way that only one applicant at a time came into the council chamber, while the others and all interested parties remained in the hallway, seated on chairs spaced six-feet apart.
After the last candidate had been interviewed and returned to the hallway, the members of council and the mayor discussed their relative qualifications in depth. Finally, when a vote was taken, two candidates, Syme and Penrod, emerged in a tie for first place.
At that point, Mayor DeGray read aloud, from the city’s bylaws, the permitted ways to resolve such a situation. Instead of rolling dice or picking from a deck of cards, the flipping of a coin proved acceptable to all. With Syme choosing heads, and Penrod tails, the mayor filled a coin, and the appointment fell to Penrod.
Following that brief game of chance, city recorder Kim Crowley swore in new city councilman by administering the oath of office. And, afterwards, without the usual shaking of hands, Penrod received a mixture of sincere congratulations, and joking condolences.