August 8, 2018 10:59:51 AM
An odd convergence of circumstances prevented Columbus City Council from conducting business at its rescheduled regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in the Municipal Courtroom.
Only three councilmen showed for the 2 p.m. meeting -- which was rescheduled from the usual 5 p.m. -- with a fourth, Ward 5 Councilman Stephen Jones, joining by phone. Councilmen Gene Taylor and Joseph Mickens, of wards 1 and 2, respectively, did not attend. Since Mayor Robert Smith was also out of town, Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin had to preside over the meeting as a non-voting member, leaving the council without a quorum.
After the shorthanded council called the meeting to order, it recognized police officer efforts in a recent LaGrange, Georgia, investigation involving a Columbus native and swore in a new firefighter. Then the meeting adjourned.
Gavin said the council changed the meeting time so city officials could attend the police department-hosted National Night Out on Crime event, which began at 6 p.m. at several city locations. Also, he said, Jones would have been unable to join by phone at the regular meeting time because he had a flight scheduled then.
"We hoped this reschedule would fix the problem of not having enough councilmen today," Gavin told The Dispatch.
Tuesday's agenda included 25 consent items, an appointment to the Civil Service Commission, employee hires and three personnel items slated for discussion in executive session.
A planned presentation from retail recruitment firm NaviRetail was deleted from the agenda before Tuesday's meeting was set to begin because the representative could not attend at 2 p.m.
Gavin is unsure whether the business to be handled in the meeting will warrant the mayor calling a special meeting when he returns, or if the agenda items will carry over to the next city council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15.
"It just depends on what the mayor decides to do," Gavin said.
1. Starkville teenager dies after almost drowning in apartment pool STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Hodge joins Dispatch as sports editor COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY