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Reidsville Council calls special meeting on City Hall after adjourning without public comment

Monday Reidsville held their regularly scheduled city council meeting at City Hall where citizens, department heads, and members of the media filled the room, once again requiring additional seating to be brought in because of some new faces.

As almost fifty people sat waiting to have their voices heard on various issues, following the general business, Mayor Eddie Rewis requested a motion to adjourn the meeting. Councilman Virgil Duckworth made a motion to adjourn.

As citizens began to speak out about wanting to be heard – some even speaking out of turn, Councilman Virgil Duckworth and Councilman John Wingate gather their belongings to leave, joined by City Attorney Van Cheney. They then left the building as citizens tried to get their attention and followed them to the parking lot.

Though the city policy does not require council to hear public comment at every meeting, prior to the higher turnout of citizens at meetings, anyone was able to comment publicly on any issue throughout the course of Reidsville city council meetings. This has been standard protocol for years.

Following the adjournment of the meeting without public comment, several citizens cornered Mayor Eddie Rewis to express their unhappiness with the council and mayor’s unwillingness to hear public concern.

During the discussion, Mayor Rewis told several citizens that people had told him ‘there weren’t any other options’ for a City Hall, which was quickly refuted by several members of the community who have attended previous meetings and made suggestions publicly. He even mentioned the Vicki Nail had told him there were no other options, despite the fact that Mrs. Nail and her husband have attended every meeting since this began in an effort to offer location suggestions. Those options have been cited on All On Georgia and in The Tattnall Journal. (NoteOn the night of the vote to purchase City Hall, nearly 100 people turned out to voice their opinions and offer suggestions on other locations, but they were not allowed to be heard at that time, either.)

Mayor Rewis said he had previously told the people of Reidsville that anyone with an ‘alternative suggestion’ could bring it before the council. Both Vicki Nail and Susan Waters responded that they were unaware that the suggestions would not be allowed to be brought forth at actual council meetings when all members are present.

Susan Waters requested that a meeting be placed on the calendar immediately, as the ‘postponement’ of the purchase of the Cheney Law Office expires on Friday, November 20. Should an alternative not be agreed upon by that date, the purchase of the Cheney Law Office will go on.

The specially-called meeting with be held on Monday, November 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. If you would like to be heard at that meeting, YOU MUST GO TO CITY HALL AND PUT YOUR NAME ON THE LIST.  Citizens may bring forth options and the council will review them – though Mayor Rewis stated they will not be reviewed during the meeting.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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