“Each of us have some (people) that we want to bring forward for the different boards to make it a citywide slate,” Council Member John Beresford said Friday.
Beresford acknowledged that some think the council has less-than-pure motives for wanting to change the membership of the city’s boards, but he said that isn’t so.
“The rumors are out there, flying fast, that we’re being vindictive. We’re not. What we’re doing is opening up the slate for new members,” Beresford said.
During Thursday’s meeting, he said the city should broaden the base of board members since seeing rapid growth over the last decade.
“It’s nothing against the people that are serving. It’s just an opportunity to expand,” he said.
Some city council members, including Beresford, circulated a list of intended nominees for the city’s boards, commissions and authorities in January. Beresford said the list has been updated several times since it was first presented.
At Thursday’s meeting, Hobgood nominated Pat Tanner to fill the remainder of member Dee Durham’s term on the Housing Authority, as Durham does not wish to continue serving on the board. He also nominated Clayton Reid for reappointment when his term ends in March.
For the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Hobgood nominated Tommy Justice and Andy Alexander for reappointment. He nominated David Resendiz, Derick Grimes and Clay Cowey to replace Glen Cummins, Skip Spears and Jack Goodwin. Elected officials are not permitted to serve on the citizen boards, Hobgood said during the meeting.
Hobgood nominated Nell Magruder and Jack Whitmire for reappointment to Canton Preservation and nominated Stephanie Joyner to replace Skip Spears.
Hobgood nominated all members of Canton Tourism for reappointment.
For Tree City of Canton, Hobgood nominated Frances Vaughn, Joan Anderson, Jerry Merritt and City Manager Scott Wood to the board.
Hobgood nominated all members of the Stormwater Advisory Board for reappointment except John Beresford. He nominated Howard Levy to take Beresford’s seat.
Hobgood nominated all six Main Street board members with expiring terms to be reappointed.
The Main Street board requires that these six seats be filled by members of other boards and groups with interests in downtown, such as the Downtown Development Authority and Canton Tourism.
“We’ll be looking at that,” Beresford said. The council members’ list did name replacements for these six positions, but these nominees do not meet the requirements of belonging to other city boards.
For the Impact Fee Advisory Committee, Hobgood nominated Mark Kanakaris, David Alaniz and Glen Bliss for appointment and Doug Williams, George McClure and James Bagwell for reappointment. Alaniz and Kanakaris were nominees introduced by council members, Hobgood’s list of nominees shows. Hobgood nominated Bliss to replace Council Member Jack Goodwin.
The Downtown Development Authority, Canton Development Authority, Planning Commission, Library Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Canton Building Authority do not have any terms up for appointment.
Goodwin suggested that the council increase the size of some of the boards.
“I’d like to see us keep the majority of what we have but also think about adding a few more,” he said. “We can add a few people and make it even better.”
State laws dictate how many people can serve on some city boards.
Beresford stressed that the city council is following protocol for the appointments.
“The first step had to be for the mayor to make nominations. The (slate) I created in January was to push him to make the nominations,” he said.
Under the city’s charter, the mayor makes nominations for appointed boards, commissions and authorities. The council can then either accept or reject those nominations. If a nomination is rejected, a council member can then nominate another person to be voted on by the council.
Beresford said he met with Hobgood before Thursday’s council meeting to review the procedure and clear up some confusion about which members of which boards were up for reappointment. This meeting will likely produce additional changes for the slate of nominees, Beresford said.
“(Hobgood) wanted to nominate his candidates, which he has all the right in the world to do by the charter,” Beresford said. “The council can then accept or bring forth a nomination of our own, and that’s what will happen on the 21st.”
The council’s next meeting is Feb. 21.