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Fayetteville City Council delays appointment to Public Works Commission

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(Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the votes of City Council members Brenda McNair and Courtney Banks-McLaughlin on delaying the PWC appointment.)

The Fayetteville City Council on Monday night voted 6-4 to delay its appointment to the Public Works Commission.

The action took place during the council’s regular monthly meeting at City Hall.

Voting for the delay were council members Johnny Dawkins, Kathy Jensen, Brenda McNair, Mario Benavente, Deno Hondros and Shakeyla Ingram.

Those opposed to the delay were Mayor Mitch Colvin and council members Derrick Thompson, D.J. Haire and Courtney Banks-McLaughlin.

The council set no date to consider the appointment again.

Banks-McLaughlin said she wanted to nominate former City Councilman Ted Mohn to be the council’s representative on the board of the city’s public utility. Councilman Dawkins, a member of the appointments committee, said Mohn would be considered among other potential appointees.

Last week, Councilwoman Ingram asked for a delay on the appointment in a message directed to members of the appointments committee, Mayor Colvin and other City Council members.

“My interest and request come as I am now a member of the appointment committee with the potential to participate in the selection on a nominee and concern of ensuring a seasoned commissioner is well-equipped to be a part of the selection of the new president and CEO for our utility,” Ingram wrote.

In a past appointment cycle, Ingram wrote, the appointments committee and full council supported a delay of a commissioner’s term being extended to support the search for a new CEO. That CEO, Elana Ball, recently resigned and returned to Texas.

The committee and council also supported having the full council review candidates for the PWC appointment, she wrote.

The appointments committee has voted to recommend former City Councilman Chris Davis for the position. If Davis’ appointment is approved, he would have a vote on choosing a new CEO.

The council accepted several other recommendations by the appointments committee for various vacant positions. Those were all accepted by a vote of the full council.

Haire pulled aside the PWC appointment.

“I think the spirit of the boards or commissions is to make sure we have as much community involvement as possible from folks that are not typically the usual suspects that get involved with community leadership,” Benavente said during the discussion. “I think it’s important that we reconsider moving forward our policy on appointing former elected officials to the board or commission to maximize the number of community members to be able to gain some experience and to gain leadership opportunities. I think every time that we keep going back to those same wells, we limit those opportunities, which is not in the spirit, I think, of these boards or commissions.”

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, City Council, PWC, utility board

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