Durbin swears in father and son as councilmembers
At a special meeting Friday night, Durbin Town Council appointed Mike Vance, Earl Vance, Jr., and Robert Gray as new councilmembers.
The Vances were sworn in by mayor Donald Peck and immediately took their seats on the council. Gray was not in attendance.
Council approved the resignations of councilmembers Don Jennings and Paula Dilley prior to the swearings.
Former councilmember Kenneth Lehman conveyed his disdain of the council for selecting Mike Vance, a former mayor, as a replacement.
"Putting Mike Vance on this town council is a horrible mistake," he said. "I question your ethics. He stole from this town and he was convicted of the crime. It would be a slap in this town's face, what you have done. The reason he isn't in prison is because the police didn't do their job."
Lehman added that he questioned the reason for meeting on a Friday night and not at the regular meeting time on Monday.
"Why is this being done on a Friday night when the regular town meeting is Monday night, three days away?" he asked. "Why such a big rush to do this? That's all I have to say, I'm very disappointed in this council. It's no wonder this town is in such crappy shape."
As Lehman left the meeting, recorder Paul Ransom explained that the meeting was held on Friday night because council had to approve the FEMA Flood Plain Ordinance prior to November 4.
The councilmembers were selected Friday in order to have a quorum at the regular meeting Monday night.
According to the Secretary of State's Election Handbook, "a vacancy occurs when the governing body accepts a resignation, except that a member's resignation will not be effective if it deprives the governing body of a quorum."
It further explains that if a majority of the council wants to resign, as was the case with Durbin council, only one member can resign at a time. For example, when Gloria Ransom resigned her seat, a replacement should have been selected before Don Jennings and Paula Dilley could submit their resignations.
Instead, the approval of Ransom's resignation was halted because of the absence of Jennings and Dilley. Although their resignations were not submitted in writing at that time, Jennings and Dilley did not attend the meetings, which left council without a quorum.
The incident Lehman spoke of involving Mike Vanceﾒs conviction stems from an incident in 2007 where he was accused of stealing a heater from the town building, Peck explained.
The town had a new propane heater that wasn't yet installed in the building. Mike Vance took the heater to use at his home because his heater was broken. He explained to council he accidentally put the wrong heater back in the office when he was finished with the town's heater. Mike Vance resigned as mayor and the town had him arrested.
In other action:
Council approved the final reading of the FEMA Flood Plain Ordinance.
Councilmember Emma Grace Nottingham was absent from the meeting, prompting mayor Donald Peck and recorder Paul Ransom to invoke their right to vote on council business.