06/02/14 — Councilmen skip some committee meetings

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Councilmen skip some committee meetings

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 2, 2014 1:46 PM

District 1 Goldsboro City Councilman Michael Headen has not been to a single meeting of either the Transportation Advisory Committee or the Historic District Commission since at least October.

Mayor Al King has not attended a single one of the monthly meetings of the Goldsboro Housing Authority stretching back seven months.

District 3 Councilman William Goodman has only made it to one GATEWAY board of directors meeting since October -- there have been seven during that time.

More than half of the members of the City Council have not been present at many of the meetings of steering committees they volunteered to join.

The councilman and mayor serve as voting members, with other volunteers, on the various committees that discuss many issues affecting the city before they go to the City Council for a decision.

Headen serves as one of the two councilmen appointed to the TAC. He has missed all four of its meetings over the last six months.

District 5 Councilman Chuck Allen, who also serves on the TAC, has not missed any meetings in that same time frame.

District 6 Councilman Gene Aycock serves as an alternate to the TAC and has only missed the Nov. 14 meeting.

In case of the absence of a voting member, the alternate has a vote.

"To me if you say you're gonna serve then you have an obligation to be there, just like a City Council meeting," Allen said. "I look at it as, if you can make it you should be there."

Allen declined to comment when asked about other councilmen's attendance records.

"That's a fair question," he said. "It's not one I can answer, but it is fair to ask that."

Aycock said making the meetings for the committees he joins is an important responsibility, especially when it comes to the TAC.

"The committees look at the needs in the city and county," he said. "It's even more important with cutbacks in funding from the state, especially in the eastern part of the state. Everything is weighted now on a points system."

Aycock said that without proper attendance, committees will not have a quorum and will not be able to vote on important issues when necessary.

Multiple messages to Headen requesting comment were not returned as of press time.

Goodman attended the Oct. 29 GATEWAY meeting but has since missed every one.

Aycock serves on the GATEWAY board with him.

Aycock was absent for the Feb. 25 meeting but has made each of the other monthly meetings in the last seven months.

When Aycock was absent, City Manager Scott Stevens took over for him for the meeting in February.

"With GATEWAY, a lot of people don't see the immediate needs of the GATEWAY system," Aycock said. "It provides an important service for people that have no other means of transportation."

Aycock said that by attending his committee meetings he can explain what is happening in detail to the rest of the council.

Also, not having a quorum can be disturbing, he said.

"It's a little frustrating sometimes when you get to a meeting and can't vote because you don't have a quorum," he said. "I'm not trying to get anybody. It just (makes me angry) when we can't do anything at a meeting because somebody didn't show up."

Multiple messages to Goodman requesting comment were not returned as of press time.

District 2 Councilman Bill Broadaway serves on both the Parks and Recreation and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. committees.

He missed the April meeting of the Recreation Advisory Committee while on vacation, but has attended all others and has attended all DGDC meetings in the last seven months.

"I look at it if I said I'm gonna do something I'm gonna do it. I was interested in downtown, and I was interested in parks and recreation so I joined the committees," Broadaway said. "It's just my thing that if you say 'yes' you will do it. You have got some people depending on you."

Broadaway declined to comment on other councilmen's attendance at meetings.

"It's not my place to comment on what they are doing," he said.

District 4 Councilman Charles Williams Sr. serves on the Appearance Commission, which does not have enough members for a quorum. The committee has not met for months.

King has also not attended any Travel and Tourism Advisory Council meetings, although a representative from the City Manager's office has been in attendance.

Multiple messages to King requesting comment were not returned as of press time.