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Here’s a fun little political fuck-tussle: In the town of Parma, Missouri (population 713 and reportedly declining), five of the six members of the town’s police department resigned, as did several city officials, just before the town’s first black woman mayor took office last week. Mayor Tyrus Byrd won a recent election by 37 votes against the previous mayor, Randall Ramsey, who had served for a total of 37 years, and apparently the previous administration was just really, really loyal to Randall.

Former Mayor Ramsey told local TV that the officers’ resignations, as well as those of the city attorney, clerk, and the supervisor of the waste water treatment plant, were motivated by “safety concerns.” Exactly what those safety concerns were, however, remain a mystery to Mayor Byrd, since she has not actually seen the resignation letters. It appears they were stored on the city’s computers, which were helpfully wiped clean by the outgoing City Hall office staff. Wasn’t that helpful of them, to let her start with a completely clean office like that?

Because of the missing records, Byrd said that she couldn’t comment on the resignations until she had more information. We bet that the former city officials will be more than happy to fill her in, should they ever return her phone calls. It could happen! Also, we haven’t done any research into this, but isn’t there some slight likelihood that maybe wiping city computers of personnel records just might be a crime of some sort? Somebody ought to maybe look into that!

Now, it would of course be completely unfair to suggest that all those resignations had anything to do with the race of the new mayor. Small-town politics being what they are, maybe she took some kind of political position that was simply highly unpopular, like running against Mayor-for-life Ramsey, and possibly it’s merely a coincidence that Byrd, who previously served as city clerk, did that while also being black. After all, if she was such a scary candidate that a whole bunch of people were worried about their safety, maybe she just had some other negative qualities that led them to quit. Like a really short temper, or uppitiness. Yeah, that’s probably it. Personality disputes. No need to dig into this too much, OK, media?

[Gawker / KFVS12 / WSMV]

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