Mayor Tom Henry: I’m working to restore Clerk Lana Keesling’s parking spot to ‘ease tension’

Lana Keesling and Tom Henry

It appears City Clerk Lana Keesling will get her Citizens Square parking space back.

One day after Keesling held a news conference in which she said Mayor Tom Henry had reassigned her space in retaliation for a $100 ticket issued to his city-owned car spokesman John Perlich Tuesday issued a statement from Henry saying that, “to forego any additional stress on (Keesling’s) part, I have asked the Deputy Mayor (Karl Bandemer) to contact the building staff to try to accommodate your desire to park in the building.”

The move may take a while, Henry added, because “it appears in order to open up additional space, various pieces of equipment need to be removed or repositioned . . . Hopefully, this will ease some of the tension that has occurred.”

The News-Sentinel reported earlier this month that Henry’s 2018 Buick LaCrosse had a temporary plate that had expired on Dec. 24, 2017. Keesling’s parking staff issued the ticket two days later in the Citizens Square lot. Perlich said at the time the car had been purchased in November and payment for the license was sent to the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles shortly thereafter, Perlich said.

Keesling said she had not yet had time to review Henry’s statement and said she would have a response later. “There’s a much bigger issue that isn’t being addressed,” she said. “That’s the retaliation, bullying, abuse of power, etc.”

Henry said this week he had not abused his authority. The car now has a permanent plate, and the fine has been paid.