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Ousted Albion councilwoman says she was plotted against; replacement to 'put drama aside'

Sonya Brown.JPG
Sonya Brown,{ }Ousted Albion councilwoman, says she was plotted against; replacement to 'put drama aside.' (WWMT/Sam Knef)

After a year of political turmoil, the people of Albion voted to recall City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro-tem Sonya Brown.

Al Smith, Brown's replacement, said he wants to put drama aside, and start working for the people.

One of the top item's on Smith's agenda is building up Barnes Park, the only park in the third precinct, which Smith now represents.

While the path to his new seat was no walk in the park, he out-gained Brown in votes: 220 to 124.

"The election was a little more one sided than I thought it would be," Smith said. "Overwhelming to say the least.”

Brown said she woke up Wednesday, the day after the election, relieved, and refreshed.

The language used to recall Brown focused on Facebook messages she sent to a former Albion City Manager Latonya Rufus, which some interpreted as her calling for the firing of Albion Public Safety Chief Scott Kipp.

Brown said that wasn't the case, and said some people in Albion government wanted her gone before the messages were ever sent.

“I’m confident in saying that this recall election had nothing to do with Facebook messages between myself and Ms. Rufus, and I think everybody knows that," Brown said. "The plot was out there already, and that’s the tool that was used.”

Brown remain's on Albion's Economic Development Corporation.

She said she's still focused on serving her community, and is willing to lend advice to her replacement.

"If Mr. Smith would like to have a conversation with me, I’d be more than happy to meet with him," she said. "He knows what he’s getting into, he just doesn’t know how it feels to be on the other side of the table.”

Smith said he would take her advice, but said he's a better fit for the role.

“I have no animosity or no ill feeling toward Ms. Brown. She’s a wonderful lady," Smith said. "But it’s time for the city council to move forward. If we can put the drama aside from personal vendettas or agendas, and start talking with the people, and working for the people, that’s number one for me.”

Brown said she has no regrets, and wouldn't have done a single thing differently.

The Albion City Council will also have to fill the role of mayor pro-tem.

Smith said that position should go to one of the senior council members.

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