Council passes, Mayor vetoes city charter - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Council passes, Mayor vetoes city charter

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March 8, 2004

Cairo - Monday night the Cairo City Council narrowly passed a controversial charter, but the Mayor vetoed that decision.

There were times during the meeting that it looked and sounded like a church meeting. You could hear "Amen's" and applause. Then, the name calling began.

"This is a joke, a pure-T joke!" exclaimed Sue Fender.

During the heated meeting, 21 people spoke out against the proposed charter that would allow council members to appoint a mayor. Only 3 supported it.

Sue Fender was not one of those supporters. She says, "We're one of the most corrupt little towns in the state of Georgia. We need a new group of people to start over in this town, to help solve this problem."

Mayor Pro Tem Ernest Cloud Jr., originally proposed a new charter, but other council members voted to revise it, eliminating the rights of citizens to elect a mayor.

Cloud says, "It should be approved by the people. If they want to pursue it, they need to bring it forward at the next election, let the citizens of Cairo decide whether they want this election by the council or by the people. They need to make that decision, not the council."

And although a vote has been made, the decision was not final. Mayor Dan Wells veto sends the issue back to the council for another vote.

If the council overrides the veto, the charter still must be approved by the General Assembly. State Representative Wallace Sholar says he won't bring it up in the House unless voters get to voice their opinion in a local referendum.

posted at 10:26 PM by karen.collier@walb.com