Monday, January 3, 2011

New council begins work; former mayor Moore unhappy with being on only one committee

From left: Council Members Becky Moore, Dan Roller and Sharon Turner; city attorney Phil Moloney; Mayor Tom Bozarth; City Clerk-Treasurer Phyllis Hudson; and Council Members Doris Leigh, Joy Arnold and Aaron Hamilton.

At tonight's first meeting of the newly elected Midway City Council, Mayor Tom Bozarth said he looked forward to the same "good working relationship" that he had with the two councils in his first four-year term. Then he distributed a list of committee assignments that upset one of the new council members, former mayor Becky Moore.

Bozarth put Moore on only one committee, Cemetery and City Property, but named Council Member Sharon Turner to all three, and named Turner chair of Ordinance, Policy and Finance. Council Member Doris Leigh was appointed to two committees and named chair of Cemetery and City Property. Aaron Hamilton is only on Water, Sewer and Streets, but is chair. Both of the new members who filed for office with Moore, Dan Roller and Joy Arnold, are on only one committee.

When Moore murmured some concern about the appointments, Bozarth replied, "We can talk about them" and Moore did not press her case. But when asked to explain after the meeting, she noted that she was on one committee while another member was on three, and said Bozarth should have consulted her before making the assignments. "I don't think that's the respectful thing to do," she said. "I could certainly serve on more than one committee."

Bozarth did not respond to a later request for comment on Moore's remarks, but when asked immediately after the meeting about the disparity in committee asignments, he said, "That's just the way it turned out." He added that he wanted to reduce the number of committees because some of the five during his first term had not been very active. He downplayed the importance of the matter, noting, "Everything comes before the council."

Here are the committees, with the chairs named first:
Ordinance, Policy and Finance: Turner, Arnold, Leigh.
Water, Sewer and Streets: Hamilton, Roller, Turner.
Cemetery and City Property: Leigh, Moore, Turner.

Turner, who got the most votes in the recent election, was also re-elected mayor pro tem, to preside over council meetings in Bozarth's absence. Bozarth said the council had voted in the past for the member who won the most votes. That distinction was the only thing at stake in the recent election, because then-Council Member Diana Queen withdrew as a candidate, leaving only six candidates for six council seats. Turner was elected mayor pro tem without dissent.

The council honored Queen (front row center in photo) and the other departing members, Charlann Wombles (left) and Sandra Cooke (right). Wombles remains Midway's representative on the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, which owns Midway Station, the failed industrial park that is supposed to become a residential and commercial development.

1 comment:

Becky Moore said...

On December the 1st, I emailed the Mayor and asked if I could have input concerning my committee assignments. Monday evening it was a surprise and disappointment to see, for the first time, the committee appointments. My request had been disregarded. My
"good working relationship" with Tom has gotten off to a poor start.
On another subject.......we need to rearrange the room
for City Council meetings so we can better see and hear each other as well as the public !!