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AUDIO: Reidsville Council Session Gets Heated, City Hall Purchase Charges On

Monday night, the Reidsville City Council convened for a regularly-scheduled work session. After the items on the meeting agenda were completed, Mayor Rewis opened the floor for public comment and Vicki Fountain Nail stood to ask whether old business, pertaining to the purchase of the City Hall, would be discussed.


Mayor Rewis responded that it would be next Tuesday, October 13, 2015 because Monday is Columbus Day and at that time, he will make a motion for the council to vote on the purchase of the property.

Atris Nail then asked if the council had considered having a committee go to the law office property to do an assessment for price, appraisal, and other items from a third party. He said that he is aware of six other properties available for purchase. He also said the county property on Hwy 280 could be subdivided into three parcels if the city wanted to purchase some, instead of all.

One member of the audience asked whether anyone from the council had looked into other properties since the previous meeting with public dissatisfaction with the purchase. Mayor Rewis said that he had not looked into any other locations.

Susan Waters expressed her concern that time is running out to consider other options before the vote. Mayor Rewis said the council would look at other options AFTER the council votes whether or not to purchase Cheney & Cheney Law Office. Councilman Virgil Duckworth mentioned that he had looked at properties but  would not share them with the public. That audio is here:

Despite the public outcry last week, Mayor Rewis says he has not looked at any other options for city hall since the public meeting. Councilman Duckworth says he has looked, but he won't be sharing them with the public at this time.

Posted by Jessica Szilagyi on Monday, October 5, 2015

 

Councilwoman Thomas said someone approached her about a building owned by Lamar Smith that could be a possibility, but it has not been looked into further by the council as a whole.

Donald Prestage asked if the city council would have concrete numbers on the renovations before the vote. Mayor Rewis said yes, but there won’t be cost other than materials because prison labor will be used.

As a representative of AllOnGeorgia, I asked about the bidding process. Not liking my questions, Mayor Rewis made a Motion to Adjourn the meeting, which was not seconded. That audio is here:

Here is the audio of Mayor Rewis calling for a Motion to Adjourn because he didn't like my tough questions on bidding. It's only a few minutes of a very long meeting, but speaks to the lack of transparency with some elected officials in the City of Reidsville.

Posted by Jessica Szilagyi on Monday, October 5, 2015

 

The only person looking at the property right now is a gentleman who currently works for the city of Reidsville as the building inspector. No outside person has been sought, based on comments from Mayor Rewis. He said none were necessary because no work is being done by the contractors, only prison labor. Citizens then expressed concern over the bidding and anticipated cost of materials.

Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Virgil Duckworth told the room that the council would vote next week, however they feel they should, and Reidsville will “just have to take it.”

There were additional concerns and complaints over the times of the council meetings, being 5:00 p.m., especially after Councilman Wingate and Mayor Rewis said if people cared about the meeting, they would attend. They said people who are concerned about the timing of the meetings should come before the council and ask that it be changed.

After an hour of public comment, the meeting was adjourned.

The City of Reidsville will convene Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall. The council will vote on the purchase of the Cheney law office and the meeting is open to the public.


 

Before the meeting was concluded, City Clerk Kelly Murray did leave the meeting, so it is possible that not all of the above information will be in the official meetings.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com.

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