With community still in shock, Bellevue City Council moving forward

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By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

With the community still in shock of the events surrounding it former city manager, residents of Bellevue are coming together to make sure the city continues to operate without a hitch.

Marlin Jay Anderson, who served as city manager for 22 years, was arrested Friday, Aug. 3 on charges sexual assault against a 3-year-old girl. Anderson was released from jail Wednesday, Aug. 8 on a $75,000 bond posted by his attorney. On Friday, Aug. 10, Anderson committed suicide while at the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma.

The Bellevue City Council met Monday night to divvy up responsibilities and discuss how it will handle the basic functions of the city.

Bellevue Mayor Marvin Bigbie said on Monday that while the city was still in disbelief of recent events, residents of the town have stepped up to offer assistance.

“We never worried in this city,” said Bigbie. “Jay just took care of it.”

Anderson handled every aspect of running the city, from administrative work, to the water and sewer plants and lines, street repairs and garbage collection. Bigbie said Anderson was also kept immaculate records, which has been beneficial in the last few days.

The city now must figure out procedures for carrying out operations, such as where to take water samples for testing, and how to handle trash collection with volunteer labor. This week, trash collection was postponed until Wednesday.

Bigbie said that in the days after news of Anderson’s arrest – and later his death –broke, he had a steady stream of phone calls from residents, all of which were in support of the community.

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from citizens,” said Bigbie.

The city has also been offered help from around the area. Robert Tweed, water and sewer plant supervisor for the City of Henrietta, has offered assistance in maintaining the City of Bellevue’s systems until a new city manager can get his license, while Jeff Watts of Midwest Waste Services has also offered support.

The City of Bellevue has always operated with one fulltime employee, the city manager, and sometimes a part time employee.

The council complimented employee Dusty Watkins for his efforts during the last week. Watkins has been taking care of day-to-day tasks at the water and sewer plants, as well as other city responsibilities.

The council is looking to hire James Allen of Bellevue to fill the role of city manager. The council scheduled a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 20 to discuss a job description and salary for the position. The meeting is open to the public. The Bellevue City Council has not held a closed executive session in more than 23 years.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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