Council at Odds with Town Statute

BLYTHEWOOD – Twice this year, Blythewood Town Council has made appointments to the Planning Commission without publicly soliciting applicants for the open seats at least 30 days prior to the appointment as required by the Town’s statute, Title XV, Chapter 150.02.

Last night, at a Special Called meeting, Council was poised to make it a hat trick. The Voice went to press several hours before the scheduled meeting and is therefore unable to report the results at this time.

The latest incident of side stepping the Town’s law was initiated Monday evening at the Planning Commission meeting when Town Administrator John Perry announced to the panel that Commissioner Jack Davis was ill and would be undergoing treatment for an extended period of time.

Perry then introduced Ashley Oaks resident Malcolm Gorge, who Perry said had agreed to substitute for Davis during his absence from the Commission.

According to the town’s statute there is no provision in the Town’s book of ordinances for the appointment of substitute Planning Commissioners.

When asked about the appointment’s noncompliance with the Town’s statute, John Perry shrugged and said he was doing it as a favor to Davis who was from the same neighborhood as Gorge.

The next day, Tuesday, Town Hall issued notice that the appointment would be voted on the next evening (Wednesday) during a Special Called Town Council Meeting.

Section (D) of the Town’s statute states, “A vacancy may be filled at any Council meeting providing that open solicitation began no less than 30 days prior to the Council meeting during which an appointment or appointments are to be made.”

Mayor J. Michael Ross said he agreed with Perry that it was permissible to make an exception to the law in these appointments, but that he would discuss it with Council prior to the vote on Wednesday.