Last week when Orem Mayor S. Blaine Willes was appointed to the Utah State Tax Commission, he wasn't sure he had to resign his mayoral post.
Now he is sure."I will be accepting the position at the State Tax Commission," Willes said. "And I will be needing to resign as mayor."
Willes will make the move on July 1, and he will have to resign before then. A new mayor will not be chosen until he officially resigns.
"There are a number of things that I wanted to finish as mayor before I leave," he said.
When he found out about the appointment, Willes was in St. George at a conference, and he believes some of the misunderstandings stemmed from his inability to communicate with the right people.
"Now I've talked with the lieutenant governor, and it would appear clear that I need to step down," he said.
Dave Hansen of the lieutenant governor's office said he talked with Willes Wednesday morning and he hopes everything is clear now.
"From my understanding, he (Willes) understands that he must step down before July 1," Hansen said.
When Willes does resign, the Orem City Council will choose an interim mayor, who will fill the post until January of next year. A mayoral election will be held during the general elections in November.
The mayor who is elected will serve only the remaining two years in Willes' term and then will have to run again.
Willes said he will not be involved in the selection process of the interim mayor, but he "will probably have persons in mind and I will give my opinions," he said.
Though the final decision will be made by the City Council, Willes said he believes there will be a lot of input from the community.
Stella Welsh, who was defeated by Willes in the last mayoral election by approximately 1 percent of the vote, said she would like to see public input, too.
"I would like to see it discussed openly," Welsh said. "I know the council has the right to make that decision, but the public should be involved."
Welsh said that if she was asked to take the interim position, she would accept it.