Town Elects Black Female Mayor, Officials Quit

Tyrus Byrd makes history in Parma, Missouri
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2015 4:37 PM CDT
Town Elects Black Female Mayor, Officials Quit
Tyrus Byrd, right, is the first black, female mayor in the history of Parma, Missouri.   (YouTube)

Shhh: You might hear a pin drop in the city hall of Parma, Missouri, where top officials and police officers quit after a black woman was elected mayor for the first time, KFVS reports via the Huffington Post. Former city clerk Tyrus Byrd was sworn in as mayor last week, after beating 37-year incumbent Randall Ramsey by a 38 votes, 122-84. But Byrd is without a clerk, city attorney, or water treatment supervisor, who promptly walked off the job; five of Parma's six cops did as well, claiming "safety concerns." Byrd has no comment on the walkouts, but says she hasn't been able to find resignation letters reportedly left behind, the Daily News reports.

On the bright side, Byrd says she's getting assistance from residents and other communities to help keep the town on track, WSMV reports. And Parma residents are weighing in: "I think it's pretty dirty they all quit without giving her a chance," says Martha Miller, a white resident. "But I don't think they hurt the town any by quitting, because who needs six police for 740 people." Black resident Terrell Thatch sees it a little differently: "They say we have six cops on the payroll," he says. "How can we have six cops, and go days without cops patrolling? You know, and we've got these recent break-ins." According to Wikipedia, the 2010 census found Parma to be about 67% white, 29% black, and 2.8% Latino. (See how officials in Ferguson, Missouri, joked about black abortions.)

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