PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WSAV) – Port Wentworth City Council’s meeting was postponed again after council members failed to show up. The council hasn’t held a successful meeting in weeks. At least one council member didn’t show up for Thursday night’s special meeting.
The council was expected to vote on several things but all four councilors must be in attendance to do that. “I just can’t say enough this is very embarrassing,” Port Wentworth Mayor, Gary Norton said.
Another Port Wentworth special council meeting has been canceled leaving them unable to do the city’s business. A full house of residents was attendance and they’re ready to move on.
“It’s very frustrating when we have people that’s trying to do business in this city and some large manufacturing jobs are going to be coming to our city. They’re two months behind now,” Mayor Norton said.
Norton worried about losing those businesses to further grow the city. Several city councilors are still divided after a tense meeting in December. Now two councilors haven’t shown since and many are trying to understand why.
“I don’t have any idea,” Mayor Norton said.
Councilors were aware that Councilman Thomas Barbee was going to be a no show but still expected Councilman Mark Stephens to show, but he didn’t.
“We thought Mr. Stephens was coming. I texted back and forth pretty much all day today,” Council Member of District 4, Glenn Jones said.
“Well, it’s pretty frustrating. We thought we’d have this done last month. I don’t understand because when Paul Fox left the council they voted Mark Stephens on. We came to the meeting and we didn’t boycott,” Mayor Norton said.
“We both arranged our schedule to be here to carry on the business of this city and we take our oath of office very very seriously,” Council Member At-Large, Linda Smith said.
Seats still remain open on the council but with the division, new councilors are still not being appointed. Some workers are still not being paid and now mayor Norton is saying the Governor’s office has stepped in and they’ve had a meeting recently. Mayor Norton says it went well, but he can’t speak on the details further adding that none of this should be happening.
The next meeting is scheduled for 10 days from Thursday. Mayor Norton said something can be done after a city councilor leaves their seat vacant for 45 days.
Interim City Administrator Steve Davis has appealed his suspension and there will be a closed hearing to determine his future with the city. That is planned for the week of February 10 or the following week.