No quorum cancels Council meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2003

According to state law, no governmental body may conduct business without a majority, or quorum, of its members present.

For the Selma City Council that means at least five members must be present or meetings can’t happen.

That was the situation Tuesday evening at a called session of the council. The session was to have been for the purpose of filling any or all of the three empty positions at city hall.

Fifteen minutes after the start of the scheduled meeting, though, Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin said that the council didn’t have a quorum even though the meeting had been called by a unanimous vote at a previous session of the council.

Council members present at the meeting were Jean Martin, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, Sam Randolph and Franklin. Absent were James Durry, B.L. Tucker, Nancy Sewell, Glenn Sexton and council President George Evans.

No quorum, no meeting.

Franklin explained the situation to those present before adjourning the meeting.

Randolph said that some council members that weren’t present didn’t have the &uot;guts&uot; to make the city hall appointments.

Selma resident Lee Goodwin said that the only reason three council members weren’t present were because they didn’t have the interests of Selma at heart.

Goodwin said he was referring to Durry, Tucker and Sewell.

Franklin said that council members had a responsibility to be at meetings if they were in town. Because certain members weren’t, she added, their behavior bordered on malfeasance and nonfeasance.

Martin said that she thought the absences could have been politically motivated.

When Franklin was asked if she thought the absences were politically motivated, she replied &uot;yes.&uot;

She added that the absent council members also hadn’t been present at the 3 p.m. work session.

Franklin said that the next council meeting would occur Monday night. The issue of appointments could occur at that time.

Called meetings of the council can only occur if Evans, Mayor James Perkins Jr. or three council members make one on their signature.

The council as a whole, however, can also vote to have a called meeting which was the case of Tuesday’s session.