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Published & Edited by Newnan Time-Herald
 
 Legal Expenses -$73.153.10 for ONE YEAR
        published in the Newnan Times Herald
     
(Exceeding stated Budgeted amount for the year requires the Budget being amended WHICH WAS NOT DONE.
 
Absentee Town Councilmen-----to follow,
 

 


 

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 3:24pm
Submitted by Ben Nelms

Two of the members of the Sharpsburg Town Council have missed a significant number of meetings in the past year and a half. Councilman Keith Rhodes missed nine meetings in 2011 and three meetings so far this year while Councilman Gordy Anderson missed four in 2011 and three this year through June. But Mayor Wendell Staley says there is more to the story. (THERE SURE IS!)

Commenting on Rhodes’ 12 absences since January 2011, Staley said the former Delta and IBM employee is currently working as a communications contractor with the military in Afghanistan, adding that, despite the absences, Rhodes is a benefit to the town and the council.

“When you’ve got a good person and the selection is as low as it is in Sharpsburg you hang on to them,” said Staley. “I don’t want him to resign. He’s an asset to the community.”
Staley said Rhodes’ absences should soon be a thing of the past since he will be back on furlough in the near future and his contract ends toward the end of the year. Even with the absences, Staley said the town keeps in touch with him on issues such as technology.

 

Noting the circumstances of Anderson’s seven absences, Staley said he had needed to spend time in California helping with his ailing father. His father passed away and Anderson has returned and is fulfilling his responsibilities, Staley added.

“I would have faulted him if he hadn’t been there to help his father,” said Staley.

There is another perspective to the absences that bears noting, Staley said.

“If they had been in town and were not attending they’d be replaced,” Staley said.

So what has the situation been like in Sharpsburg with the absences?

“We are conducting the business of the town and the management of the town has not suffered,” he said. “It might be different if I was like an absentee mayor or one that only occasionally comes to town hall like in the case of some towns. But I’m here every day and the town has not suffered.”

Staley maintained that there is yet another side to the issues that arise from absences. It is one that larger municipalities seldom face.

“I wish we had a bunch of enthusiastic citizens lined up to do the job. But that’s not the case,” Staley noted of the town with a population of less than 350 people.

 
Beyond that, Staley said funding a special election carries a significant degree of financial burden on the town. A special election would cost the town approximately $10,000-11,000, he said
 
(There were two elections held when the election of a council Member  could have been added to the ballot  WITHOUT additional cost to the town.  PAG)
 
Inquiries or Comments by residents, merchants, others.  I am not a Town Official so some questions I cannot answer unless I have heard an explanation publically or have asked myself of a Town Official.

        (Column added Oct 1.2013)
 
Why is a porta-potty allowed at the Frigid Frog but not allowed at the building on Main Street?  According to the Council, because it is a seasonal business
 
Why are lighted exit lights required at all building in town  as of 2013 but there is none at the Town Library?
The building consist of one very small room with two windows on three walls  and is never open at night.  
 
Why is the date of the Town Council Meeting changed so often?  Sometimes the Town has no business that needs attention or a quorum is not available for the meeting.
 
About the Citizen Article-What's going on that elected officials can't be present and not available to tend to town business?
 
According to the Charter this should not happen but it is up to the Mayor to see that the Charter is followed.  What happened:  It was more beneficial to the Mayor to wait until he could  SELECT a replacement Councilman....which is also not in accordance with the  stated Charter procedure.   
 
When a Council Member resigns with only 6 months left until the election, the Council is, according to the Charter, to operate with the remaining Council Members.  This was a "liberty" that the Mayor took to choose someone with the  Mayor's point of view of issues.  ("Stacking the Deck" so to speak....and the Council Members did not object....HAVE THEY READ THE CHARTER?????