Camilla residents upset over lack of presence at special called meeting

Camilla residents upset over lack of presence at special called meeting
Rufus Davis, Mayor of Camilla
Rufus Davis, Mayor of Camilla

CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - Some Camilla residents are upset that most city council members didn't show up to a Special Called Meeting Thursday night. Camilla's Mayor just set up the meeting late Wednesday to give citizens a chance to express their concerns to elected officials.

The new Mayor of Camilla says when he reached out to council members, some of them decided to boycott the meeting. He says he hopes an already strained relationship between him and the city council can be resolved soon.

"City Hall now it's time, Represent or Resign."

Some Camilla residents say city leaders need to listen and respond to their concerns.

"They are our elected officials and if we elected them to be here," said Torry Jackson, Resident. "I really feel they needed to be here."

Mayor Rufus Davis called Thursday night's meeting on Wednesday.  

"There are many citizens who feel they have been excluded from the legislative process and thus the legislative agenda here in the City of Camilla," said Rufus Davis, Mayor of Camilla.

They were disappointed when only one council member showed up.

"I really would like to see someone else to come in and fulfill their positions and get rid of them," said Vennita Reese, Resident.

Council member Vivian Smith says she didn't hesitate to attend when she got the call about the meeting.

"I'm here now to do whatever I can to make Camilla a better place to live," said Vivian Smith, Council member.

Mayor Davis says the turmoil began when he was refused a key to city hall from the city manager.

"No I don't have keys to city hall," said Davis.

City Manager Bennett Adams told us previous mayors have never had their own keys to city hall, but he would provide them to Mayor Davis if the city council tells him to.

Folks also wanted to talk to city leaders about high utility bills and Mayor Davis believes the city is spending money on the airport that should be used for more recreational activities.

"The city's spending priority on our airport, we're spending $1.2 million this year the airport affects one percent of the people," said Davis.

 Other city leaders say the airport is vital to economic development that benefits everyone in Camilla.

We reached out to the council members who did not attend Thursday night's meeting but did not hear back.  Mayor Davis says some of them told him they could not attend due to other obligations.

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