The City of Tallulah Has a New Mayor

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The City of Tallulah has a new mayor.

Tuesday night, the city council chose Gloria Hayden as the interim mayor during a special meeting.

Tuesday night's decision didn't come without a heated discussion.

The council's decision only took about half an hour, but it was filled with back-and-forth opinions about who this community thinks should be the city's leader.

"Was it enough when he (Paxton Branch) was here?" roared one Tallulah resident towards a council member.

Folks in Tallulah fired up during a jammed packed special meeting.

"Paxton knew where I stood with everything. So don't use that as an excuse," said a council member.

"It's not an excuse," said the resident.

"Enough is enough. You got up there to give your opinion. Give your opinion," said the council member.

All to choose the city's interim mayor.

And when the dust settled, the council chose Gloria Hayden.

"I'm ready to rock and roll," said Hayden.

She comes with 14 years of city council experience and replaces the late Mayor Paxton Branch.

"Mayor Branch had it on track, the right track. We're going to continue to track and make sure it's on the right track," said Gloria Hayden.

Hayden inherits a full plate of responsibility. The city's water system is in need of desperate repair, and the city's finances aren't in the best shape either.

Hayden says, "We're going to move forward to try and get some clean drinking water here in Tallulah and get other areas straight so we can move forward in the right direction."

Tuesday, Hayden was chosen out of three candidates, including Branch's son, Paxton Jr., who had support from more than a few in the crowd.

"Y'all need to give them a chance and let's break up and starting giving people positions. Give him a chance," said one Tallulah resident.

Another resident said, "I feel like this would be a great experience for him. Otherwise, it would be discrimination."

And although council went a different direction, Branch remains humble.

"At this point. I feel just like my father. My heart is always open. At the end of the day, it's what Tallulah needs. And right now, I'm willing to be that aid to Ms. Hayden," said Paxton Branch, Jr.

Aid that Hayden says would be more than useful in her administration.

Hayden will remain mayor until a 2019 special election.

She says she has no intention of running for mayor next year.

As for Branch, he plans to put his name on the ballot.