Since you’re the Mayor, Censure Yourself

Will Flowery Branch Stay on the Censure Train?

The minutes from the censure meeting have been posted and it is some entertaining reading.   The question now is if the council will censure the Mayor for not performing his duties.  Section 2.4 of the Flowery Branch Charter list the Mayor’s duties as:

(a) To preside at all meetings of the city council and be recognized as the official head and spokesperson of the city for service of process and ceremonial purposes;

(b) To vote on matters before the city council only in case of a tie, or if his or her vote is necessary to constitute a sufficient number to transact business;

(c) To sign, for and on behalf of the city, all contracts, ordinances, instruments, and other documents authorized by the city council and which are required to be in writing, unless otherwise directed or authorized by the city council; and

(d) To fulfill such other duties as authorized by the city council.

The question for the council should be: Did the Mayor fulfill his duties as authorized by the city council?  In looking at the minutes from the meeting, when the Mayor asked the City Attorney to explain what action could be taken by the Council, the attorney informed the Mayor and Council that “If there is a vote of censure, there would be a formal statement from the presiding officer, which would be the Mayor that this action is deemed improper, that it should stop, and if it continues, further disciplinary action may be taken.”

In looking through the minutes, the mayor did add to the discussion on the vote (after the motion and second) saying that “he (Mayor) did not think that this was handled professionally.  Someone being blindsided by such serious accusations and having less than an hour to decide whether to deal with it or not when obviously everyone else on the Council knew about this, he can’t have respect for that. Public grandstanding and trying to make political points on such a serious issue causes him to have a lack of respect. This was a political “gotcha” moment. This kind of turmoil is what has the County Commission up in arms right now and he thinks that we all know who is behind this.”   After the vote, there was no “formal statement from the presiding officer, which would be the Mayor that this action is deemed improper, that it should stop, and if it continues, further disciplinary action may be taken.”

In looking though the charter, it appears that censure would be an option, but removal from office would be another option.  Section 5.4 of the Charter says that the mayor shall be removed from office for “neglect to perform the duties thereof” or “failure for any other cause to perform the duties of office as required by this charter”.  The council made a legal action and the mayor failed or maybe refused to perform the duty.   The question becomes, will the council press the issue.

Hugh Hall County Akston

  3 comments for “Since you’re the Mayor, Censure Yourself

  1. gt183
    July 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    It’s good to see you back. It doesn’t look like the Mayor was very happy about Council Member Richards being admonished; however, he has a job to do and he needs to suck it up and do his job.

    Will you be writing about the commission mtg last night?

  2. Tired Of It
    July 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

    You stole my thunder pertaining to the “Official Minutes” of the Flowery Branch meeting of the censure of Tara Richards. However, I will bow to you on your knowledge and research as well as this is your site.
    I would like to add a bit more to the word on the street about Mayor Mike Miller. It appears he thinks he runs the city and that the council is getting in his way. I have been informed that he seems to oppose everything the council desires such as spending money to keep the employees happy. I heard he was opposed to reducing the amount the city contributes to the employee’s health insurance; was upset the council would not spend money to move all the city street department to one building; as well as upset about some pay raises to some employees that the council said no to. From what I heard these desires he wanted equated to over $40,000 of increased spending. Go fiqure!
    Maybe you need to send him your list of what the Mayor is supposed to do. It appears he does not know his duties.

    • Hugh Akston
      July 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      It is an interesting story and I like to compare meeting minutes to the news story to see the differences. It wouldn’t surprise me if he read the site. He can, however, go online and look at the charter.

      From what I can see, the Flowery Branch Mayor doesn’t have a lot of power. There are charters where the mayor can create ties or have veto power on the council, but that isn’t the case in Flowery Branch. Being “recognized as the official head and spokesperson of the city for service of process and ceremonial purposes”, kinda says it all.

      Just looking at the Oakwood charter, it looks like the mayor doesn’t have veto power either (section 2.17). Their Charter says; “Every ordinance, resolution, and other action adopted by the city council shall be presented promptly to the mayor for his or her approval by signature. Once an ordinance or resolution has been signed by the mayor, it shall become effective immediately upon filing with the city clerk. If an ordinance or resolution is not approved by the mayor by the tenth day following the date action was taken by the city council, it shall become effective at 12:00 noon on the tenth day following city council action unless the ordinance provides for an alternate effective date.” The last part is what is confusing. I am not sure if it means that there is no pocket veto or if the mayor doesn’t actually have the power.

      When you look at the mayor’s duties (3.01) it looks like the Mayor of Oakwood has a few more powers than Flowery Branch, but veto is not one of the defined powers.

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