Fullerton removed from WG&L - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fullerton removed from WG&L

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - State Representative Carol Fullerton has been removed from the Albany Water, Gas and Light Board. Albany's Mayor says it's her own fault, and she essentially removed herself by failing to show up at meetings.

Fullerton missed three consecutive meetings while attending General Assembly sessions in Atlanta. She says she thought the absences were excused and made plans to participate if needed. But some city Commissioners say that's not good enough.

Representative Carol Fullerton received a notice from the Albany city clerk on April 3rd, that her seat on the Water, Gas and Light board is now vacant, because she missed three consecutive meetings.

Tuesday, Fullerton came before the commission asking for a resolution to get that seat back, but it didn't happen. "I was a bit astounded."

Fullerton says when she missed WG&L meetings to attend sessions in Atlanta, she contacted the utility's General Manager and made arrangements to conference in over the phone, if needed.

"Some of this information is not quite accurate," said Mayor Willie Adams, who also serves as the chairman of Water, Gas and Light commission.  He says a speaker phone wasn't available in those meetings and he was never made aware that Fullerton would be absent.

While the city attorney says Fullerton's removal is simply protocol due to her absences, Fullerton believes it may be related to her involvement in a vote in the Georgia house regarding consolidation. She said, "I think there's some tempers flared over that, yes, but I don't know if that's the full reason or not."

Mayor Adams said, "I don't see that as being so." "You don't think this is political posturing?" "No, no. It's not. We're just following the rules of the ordinance."

The city charter outlines the process by which a Water, Gas and Light member can be removed. "The only way a Water, Gas and Light board member may be removed as a board member, is by a complaint emanating from the city commission accusing that person of neglect of duties of office," said WG&L attorney Sam Engram.

But a resolution passed in 2000, added an attendance policy. One that says three missed meetings in a row, and you're out.  Commissioner Tommie Postell said, "We didn't vote her out. She voluntarily removed herself by missing three consecutive meetings."

The Water, Gas and Light board could vote to amend the minutes of prior meetings, approving Fullerton's absences. She still plans to attend the next meeting. She said, "It's my impression that I'll be at the table, but, we'll see."

The next meeting of the Water, Gas and Light Commission is next Thursday. Commissioner Roger Marietta made a motion Tuesday to rescind the letter informing Fullerton of dismissal. No one seconded that motion.


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