Rogue River's newly elected mayor won't take the job.

Rogue River's newly elected mayor won't take the job.

Fred England ran unopposed for mayor in November and was supposed to take office Thursday night, but family health problems intervened, City Administrator Mark Reagles reported.

"He said, 'If I can't give it 100 percent, then I don't want to take it on,'" Reagles said.

On England's recommendation, the City Council decided at Thursday's meeting to appoint Councilor Pam VanArsdale as mayor pro tem.

"We all kind of expected this may be too much of a load for him (England) to carry, but we were hoping he would be able to do it," Reagles said. "I told Fred personally, 'Family comes first. This is a volunteer job.'"

Also on Thursday, Reagles swore in three newly-elected councilors — Shelli Spencer, Richard Pardy and Mark Poling.

The council is expected to start looking at candidates for regular mayor next month. That person will serve through January 2015.

England could not be reached for additional comment. He had been appointed to the council in 2008, and he ran unopposed for election to the council position later that year.

VanArsdale also joined the council by appointment in 2010 and was elected later the same year. The city charter allows her to double as mayor pro tem.

— Howard Huntington, Grants Pass Daily Courier