After leaving the last Canton City Council meeting, in December, one would have thought that things were on a better path. Some compromises were reached; the council was able to move a great deal of issues along. In fact, for a brief moment, it seemed as though the City had a functioning council. Yet, things in this City quickly change.
I received an email from the Mayor of Canton, Gene Hobgood, last night that explains things are more of the same again. After the previous council meeting in December the council agreed to let Mayor Hobgood retain his administrative assistant with some compromises. These compromises included the Mayoral support of a Fire Bond Referendum and a loss of his direct report, Ginger Garrard (Main Street Director). Now, in the letter from the Mayor: “All of a sudden now it seems that Mr. Bryan and Mr. Beresford have decided that they cannot live with the agreement we made and have elected instead to put on the agenda for tomorrow night’s (now tonight’s) council meeting a Budget Amendment to remove all salaries from the Mayor’s Budget and therefore eliminating the Mayor’s administrative position. There is no logical reasoning for this.”
This issue had already been resolved and now, certain “troubled” members of council can’t seem to compromise (and stick with it). These same struggles are very reminiscent of the tone in National politics. This behavior is yet another example of how our council is not working in the best interest of our city but personal agendas and vendettas. Now the council has to revert and waste more time when they could be covering more important issues like: water plant issues, road issues, and economic development issues. Instead, we are back to pettiness.
Mr. Baresford wanted to bring up couth and decorum, citing that there should be respect for the office of council. Well the simple truth is, if you act like a respectable councilman you will gain the respect you are seeking. Respect is not given by a simple election, it is earned. Please get used to the public eye or step out. Mr. Bryan has been long known for stirring the pot, nothing new there.
The council meeting is tonight and they purposely slipped this on the agenda late yesterday afternoon as to not hear from what they have deemed as the “vocal minority”. Well, thank you Mayor Hobgood for letting your constituents know the truth and what is happening. It is sad, in Hobgood’s email he said “It was refreshing to be able to compromise where everyone gives a little”. I had hoped we could keep this up. Welcome to more of the same Canton.