Before last Thursday when former Booneville Mayor Brian Mueller filed a candidacy petition, Booneville had not had an elected city attorney in at least two decades.
It was in Mueller’s final of three four-year terms as mayor when the position drew no candidates and current city attorney Johnny Williams was appointed to the post. Mayor Jerry Wilkins has subsequently appointed Williams to the unsought position during all three of his terms.
Mueller could not have gotten an opponent because, he said, he is the only attorney living within the city limits who is eligible. Betsy Danielson is currently a district judge and Paul Danielson is on the Arkansas State Supreme Court and all others who practice in the city live outside the city limits.
A Deputy 15th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, Mueller had been handling the prosecution cases for the city anyway and said enjoyed doing so.
It was the uncertainty of the 2014 mayoral race that led him to file for city attorney — in what appeared to be a wait and see stance regarding Wilkins’ intentions, nobody filed for the office until the final day of filing Friday.
“If someone else is elected mayor (and nobody files) then they could appoint anyone they wanted,” said Mueller.