CENTRALIA — Centralia Mayor-Elect Bryan Kuder has filed a complaint in Marion County court seeking a judgment declaring him the duly elected and qualified Mayor of Centralia. Kuder is also seeking a temporary injunction prohibiting the Centralia City Council from appointing a mayor pro-tem before a ruling is handed down in his case.
The City has been served with papers in the case and a hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. today in the Marion County courthouse.
Kuder and his attorneys had indicated their intent to file the suit after three members of the current city council voted in April to vacate Kuder’s election, claiming he did not meet residency requirements of the office.
Current mayor Tom Ashby’s term ends with the start of the city council meeting Monday. If Kuder isn’t successful in securing an injunction, the city council will have to appoint a mayor pro-tem to serve until the next city election in April 2021.
Kuder claims in his court case that he was a qualified elector, lived in the city one year prior to the election, and that he had obtained the majority of votes in the election. Kuder says he lived at his old home on Circle Drive until April 1st, and while he had a lease from his apartment on West Broadway on March 1st, due to water damage he could not occupy it until April 9th when he moved in.
The City says that Kuder had signed a tax form and mortgage documents stating a home he bought outside the city limits would be his primary residence.