Garden City council appoints new at-large member

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT
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GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - A newly appointed Garden City council member has some tax payers demanding transparency.

The appointment follows the former mayor stepping down and Bruce Campbell taking his place.

It was the new Mayor Bruce Campbell’s first Garden City council meeting since he took office.

That meant him and the four other council members needed to appoint someone to fill the at-large seat.

“All in favor of Gwyn Hall show of hands?” said Mayor Campbell.

Council members nominated three candidates and voted 4-2 for Pastor Gwyn Hall of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.

Some residents didn’t think that was fair.

“We’re the ones paying y’all’s bills so we should have a choice in who sits up there with y’all.””

“The residents are feeling there is still no transparency in Garden City,” said Donna Williams, president of the Garden City Community Group Inc.

Another resident said: “I think Garden City has a serious ethics problem and I also feel that since Gwyn Hall is on the ethics board, he should see the ethics problem.”

The city is in compliance with the charter, which states following a resignation, the mayor pro tem will fill the mayor’s position and if a council member’s spot becomes vacant, the remaining members can appoint someone to that position.

Garden City council members said they discussed revising the 10-year-old charter before the mayor stepped down.

“If any council member came and asked for a change before the appointment, why is there a change being talked about after the appointment?” a resident said.

With the state legislature not being in session, no revisions can be made right now.

“It’s three years left on that [at-large seat]. I could see that. I could see changing on something like that, but a year, I could see the appointment instead of a special election,” said Mayor Bruce Campbell.

The mayor said " they don’t do anything behind closed doors,” in response to people questioning the process and their transparency.

“Everybody’s not gonna like it. You’ll like it when you up top, but when you’re looking in you ain’t gonna like it.”

The new mayor’s term will be up by next year since he is only serving until the end of the former mayor’s term .

The newly appointed at-large council member will serve three more years to finish out Bruce Campbell’s term.

Council members will designate a mayor pro tem at the next meeting on October 3.