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Two Councilmen No-Shows for April City Council Meeting

by Will Phillips

This Month’s City Council meeting met an abrupt end as two out of the four current council members did not attend. Given that with only two council members present there was no way to have a majority vote, the meeting was adjourned. The two absent Councilmen were Terika Williams Walker of Dist. B and Vicen Bradford of Dist. C. 

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Terry Gardner did give the council members the option to call in to this meeting if they preferred to stay in their homes. 

Both Councilmen were called and it went to voicemail, of which Gardner left a message for them to quickly get back with them. While giving them time to respond, the present Councilmen gave some comments.

“I hope we’re not disappointed tonight with not having a call back from our two other council people. Just to remind them and remind their constituents that it’ s the law that they attend City Council meetings and take care of the business of the city,” said Councilman Pam Bloxom of Dist. E. 

Councilman Keith Beard of Dist. D added, “It’s a tough time, but we’ve taken precautions tonight to be here,and I wanted to be here tonight to take care of business. We’re trying to hire fols for our fire department and police department and there are things we need to take care of so it’s important that we’re here.”

Mayor Garder decided to add some context on his difficulties reaching to other Councilmen.

“I’ve tried to call Mr. Bradford for the past seven days once a day we tried calling him and we can’t get in touch with him,” said Gardner. 

“I’ve emailed Terika several times, and did not get a response back from her. So we’re trying to get them here.”

While the Mayor and Council couldn’t conduct a city business without at least three members present, Gardner took some time to talk about the City and their response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

“I would like to say while we’re sitting here, the Mayor’s Office and the City Council are doing everything we can to keep our citizens safe,” said Gardner.

Our numbers have almost doubled here in Webster Parish in the past few days. I know some of these decisions aren’t popular, but we’re doing it for our City, for all of our citizens. We’re trying to keep everyone safe and keep everyone well.”

Councilman Beard also asked for the Mayor to help illuminate the public on how former Councilman of Dist. A Herbert Taylor’s seat would be filled.

“If we can’t get another meeting called, the governor will appoint someone on April the 23rd,” said Gardner. 

He also illuminated one of the reasons that the meeting today was so important.

“Mr. Taylor was Mayor Pro Temp. So if I were to get sick and something were to happen to me, we have no Mayor Pro Temp,” said Gardner. 

He also stated that with the retirement of City Clerk Michael Fluhr, former City Clerk/Treasurer has retired, so he’s currently the only signature for some key areas  of city business.So if something happens to me, we only have one signature so there goes payroll and paying bills. So this was a very important critical meeting,” said Gardner. 

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