Even with an altered agenda reducing the number of items being voted on, the Minden City Council was still unable to have enough present members for a quorum.
For this meeting the only items on the agenda were the hiring of two police officers, the hiring of a fireman, awarding bids for an overlay project on the Minden Airport, awarding bids for road overlays, and holding adding an election for a Dist. A representative to the November election ballot.
After it became clear that the Councilmen were not going to attend the meeting in person, Councilman Pam Bloxom of Dist. E asked Gardner to read an email from Terika Williams-Walker explaining why she has chosen not to attend meetings.
The email read, “How ironic, Pam asked for certain items to be on the agenda and it’s done. It took a year for you to entertain a discussion for the employee manual after repeated requests (by me) for it to be added to the agenda. Where’s the equality in that situation? It’s not.
With that being said, the employee manual has not been fully addressed, revised, and voted in; therefore, I’m not voting on any personnel items.
I will attend a meeting that addresses the resolution for the special election, street overlays, and airport.”
Given the items of hiring a fireman and two policemen were on the agenda, and that’s a personnel item, it explains why she didn’t choose to attend today’s meeting, signaling that she may be so inclined if those items were not on the agenda.
Addressing a point brought up in the email, Mayor Terry Gardner stated, “The employee manual is not an agenda item, that’s a workshop item, which we workshopped that at least four or five sessions. We were almost at the end of it waiting on the previous city attorney to review it and then COVID-19 hit, so that got put on hold.”
On top of that, Councilman Bloxom reiterated a point she made in the Regular Session of the City Council meeting Monday about how these absences are preventing Dist. A from being represented.
“I want to restate that Councilmen for Districts B and C are preventing Dist. A from having any representation. So I think the ball should be in the court of those living in Dist. A to encourage Mrs. Walker and Mr. Bradford to attend a meeting in order to schedule an election so they can get a City Councilmen put in place,” said Bloxom.
“However we might be able, if she’ll come, to get the council seat scheduled for an election, but our deadline on that is June 17.”
“I wish if we knew for a fact if we were going to schedule another meeting with just those four items, would it be worth the trouble, because we still don’t know whether Mrs. Walker is going to show up or not,” said Bloxom.
When talks of making an agenda for a meeting that Councilman Walker would potentially attend, Councilman Keith beard of Dist. D voiced some of his frustration that they were even having to do that in the first place.
“I don’t like tailoring this and the meeting just for certain people, I’m tired of that. I didn’t realize when we were elected that we could pick and choose what we could vote on,” said Beard.
“I’m not trying to be ugly, but it’s getting old. I don’t remember in the last year and a half, anybody, working around what my concerns were or my desires. There were many times where I came to meetings and I felt like my vote did not count.
But I was elected to serve on this council.
For the last year and a half, it was frustrating to come to meetings and feel like my vote did not matter, but as an adult, and as an elected official, I came anyways, I sat through meetings where I was sometimes ridiculed, made fun of, voted against, and I didn’t have the vote either, but I went ahead and did what I was supposed to do and what I was elected to do.”
Nearing the end of the meeting, Councilman Bloxom also stated, “The Mayor, Keith Beard, and myself are all transplanted into Minden, and we’re working like crazy to save our city and make it all that it can be, and the two council members who were born and raised here are the ones that who have decided that they aren’t going to obligate themselves to the position that they were elected to.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council meetings are currently closed to the public. However, they can be viewed live at the City’s Youtube Channel, City of Minden – Feels Like Home.