Case of the missing council members solved

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2003

Those absent from Tuesday’s council meeting explain why

By Alan Riquelmy / Selma Times – Journal

City Council members who were absent from a called session on Tuesday answered those critics who implied that their absence was politically motivated.

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell, who didn’t make it to Tuesday’s meeting, denied that her absence was politically motivated. She said she and her granddaughter have been sick.

On Tuesday Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin said she believed Sewell and councilmen James Durry and B.L. Tucker failed to appear at the session because of political motivations.

The session had been called for the purpose of voting on filling the three empty positions of city clerk, treasurer and finance director. By failing to appear, the missing council members forced the meeting to be canceled for lack of a quorum.

Sewell said that she spoke with Franklin Monday night and asked if there was any way of canceling the meeting because of illness. Sewell said she was told that the only way it could be canceled was if a quorum was not present.

Franklin adjourned Tuesday’s meeting 15 minutes after it was supposed to convene because a quorum, five members, wasn’t present.

Concerning the speculations about her political motivations, Sewell said she had no comment.

Tucker said that when the vote was held for the meeting he didn’t vote because he knew he wouldn’t be able to make the meeting.

Bible study is held every Tuesday night at Trinity Baptist Church in Marion, where he pastors.

Tucker added that when council President George Evans said that he wouldn’t be able to attend the meeting, he didn’t see any sense to be at the Tuesday meeting and vote.

The vote on appointing people to the open positions could wait until the council’s normally scheduled Monday session, Tucker said.

His absence, Tucker said, was not politically motivated.

Durry said that he chose not to be at Tuesday’s meeting, and that the factor in his decision was Evans’ absence.

He added that he didn’t want to get involved in the issue of political motivation.

As to who would be appointed to the positions Monday night, Durry said council members would most likely discuss the matter at a work session.

The work session is scheduled for 4 p.m. before Monday’s 5 p.m. meeting.