Monticello has its first female mayor.
Paige Chase, who took the seat Tuesday, is the first woman elected to that office. City Clerk Andrea Chambers has served as acting mayor on two occasions but only for a total of 11 days—until an interim mayor could be appointed.
“This is not something that I ever thought I would have done,” said Chase, who ascended to the mayoral spot after serving on the Monticello City Council since 2016. “But, life created opportunities for me to explore new things.”
A Southeast Arkansas native and longtime Monticellonian, Chase is following in the footsteps of her late father and husband.
Her father, Allen Maxwell, served as mayor of Monticello from January 1, 2011 until his unexpected death in March 2014. Her late husband, Dr. Tim Chase, was a popular dentist in town who served as interim mayor for five months following his father-in-law’s death. He was also an alderman on the city council for more than 15 years, Mayor Chase said.
“He never had political aspirations,” she noted of her father. “He worked for Southwestern Bell for years and when he retired, he decided he had to find something to do.”
“I remember dad and Tim sitting in the car or at the kitchen table, talking about city issues and bouncing ideas off of each other. I listened and learned a lot while they talked.”
After her husband’s sudden death in April 2016, she was approached and asked to fill his vacant seat on the city council.
“I thought about it for a little while and decided to accept the position,” Mayor Chase said.
Since then, she has represented the people of Ward 4 in Monticello. Running for the office of mayor was something she said she thought and prayed about for a long time.
“The love of Monticello that dad and Tim had was instilled in me and all I want to do is help make this a better place for our citizens to live and our children to grow up,” Mayor Chase noted.
Though she is qualified and highly motivated, she is realistic about having her work cut out for her.
“My biggest goals are to make the city government financially stable and help make Monticello a place that our children can come back to,” Mayor Chase said. “I want to get our infrastructure to a point to where it isn’t going to cost us huge amounts of money at one time. I want people to know that they can talk to me and come to me with issues within the city and let’s see if we can work something out. Money won’t be wasted if I can help it. There is a lot of work to be done and I am ready to serve the citizens of this great town.”