Meeting Becomes A Cause for Celebration
By Natalie Mesidor, Contributing writer Columbus GA—The Council meeting was called to order on July 10, 2012 by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. Pastor Hank Reeves of the Glenn Anthony Baptist Church led the Invocation. Mayor Tomlinson led the pledge of allegiance. First on the agenda was the nomination of Mr. Greg Coates by City Manager Isaiah Hugley. The vote led to the confirmation of Mr. Greg Coates as the new Director of Inspection and Codes. Mrs. Shereda Jones, representing St. Mary’s United Methodist Church (UMC), spoke in reference to the St. Mary’s Road UMC Food Box Program. Mr. George A. Wade, spoke in reference to Lake Heath Park Memorial and Mr. Manual Whitfield in reference to a Prison Ministry. The following resolutions were presented, a resolution authorizing a special exception to operate an auto/truck sales (used) dealership on less than 2 acres at 3115, 5th Avenue. The property is located in General Commercial zoning district. The Planning Advisory Commission recommends approval and the Planning Department recommends conditional approval. City Manager Isaiah Hugley presented information on the Landscape easement agreement, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Department of Early Childcare and Learning-Bright from the start grant, and purchases. Regular Council meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM, respectively. Whenever there is a 5th Tuesday in the month there is a Consent Agenda/Work Session at 9:00 AM. There is no public agenda during this meeting (Consent Agenda/Work Session). All Council meetings are held in the Government Center (Plaza), 100 10th Street. From June 27, 2012 – Columbus Council Highlights Columbus GA—Meeting began with the Invocation by Pastor Buddy Lamb of Schomburg Road Baptist Church. The Invocation was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by the St. Luke Early Learning Center. The Council meeting held June 26, 2012 at 5:30p.m. began with a steamed discussion concerning the confirmation of Mr. Greg Coates.
The Columbus Council posted an inconclusive 5-4 vote on the nomination of Mr. Greg Coates to be the city’s next Director of Inspections and Codes. It was a very tense discussion led by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson , City Manager Isaiah Hugley, and Council members. Due to circumstances of unfounded rumors and accusations, councilors repeatedly apologized to Mr. Coates and his family for the humiliation, and embarrassment caused. Although apologies were presented, the Council failed to confirm Mr. Coates as the new Director of Inspections and Codes. City Manager Isaiah Hugley, who presented Mr. Coates for confirmation, stated he will bring his candidate again to council July 10, 2012. “ I am embarrassed for you,” Councilor Barnes said to Mr. Coates. Councilor Barnes stated he was embarrassed due to the indecision of the council, and he once again apologized to Mr. Coates. Mayor Tomlinson assured members of the Council and community that the “process has not changed,” in reference to the rumors presented in reference to the nomination process. She commended Mr. Coates for his “Job like character”, and stated her admiration for him through this process has grown. The public agenda consisted of Rev. J. H. Flakes, III and Mr. Richard Mack representing Love-in-Action & Time-Out, Re: Information about the Love-in-Action PRISM and Time-Out organizations. Ms. Ida M. Rash, representing Regency Drive, Re: Head-Start School on proposed rezoning ordinance. Mr. Marcus Ashmore, Re: Police & Sheriff Department TPO violation, and Mr. Paul S. Olson, Re: City’s Bond Indebtednesses-Authorities, etc., City’s Bond Rating, City’s Pension Fund and White Elephants.