Valdosta Daily Times

September 18, 2013

When officials are no-shows

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — In an unusual turnabout of events in Lake Park, Mayor Eric Schindler and the Lake Park City Council removed two council members for not attending meetings. The absence of the two kept the council from having a quorum and prevented them from voting on essential issues.

The absences of the two council members dates back to at least February of this year, and has been discussed at length at each meeting that a quorum wasn’t present.

The city’s attorney found legal standing for the Mayor to remove the council members and replace them until a special election can be held.

Just a year and a half ago, in March 2012, Schindler and then councilman Paul Mulkey resigned from their council positions, which prevented the city from having a quorum until a special election could be held.

At that time, Schindler argued against holding the election in April, saying that basic city operations could continue without a quorum and “no harm” would result from waiting until the end of July. Neither Schindler or Mulkey ran for the two open positions, but when Mayor Ben Futch resigned in July 2012, Schindler ran for the open seat and won the election.

Those who run for elected positions have to be prepared to face difficult issues, disagreements, arguments, and tough decisions. It’s not easy to be an elected official, but those willing to run should be willing to serve, regardless of other issues. It’s not fair to citizens who deserve representation.