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P&Z dispute takes a turn

Public hearing next step after council vote

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POSTED: February 11, 2012 4:30 a.m.

The Richmond Hill City Council began the process to discharge a city Planning and Zoning Commission member Tuesday.
At a regularly scheduled meeting in City Hall, the council approved a preliminary resolution to remove Stephen Weiss from the Planning and Zoning Commission by a 3-1 vote. Council member Russ Carpenter cast the nay vote.
The resolution, read by Mayor Harold Fowler, said a new commission member would provide an opportunity for added service to the community and the city, and would be someone who would be more responsive to the community and the council.
Though the council adopted the measure, Weiss remains on the commission. Before he is officially discharged, a public hearing must be held unless the city receives a written request to waive the public hearing, city attorney Ray Smith said.
The resolution came after Fowler first asked Weiss to step down and later attempted to remove him from the commission. This eventually led to questions of Fowler's authority to remove Weiss without the consent of council.
Fowler said he personally asked Weiss to step down from the planning commission at the beginning of January because he felt Weiss' views conflicted with the council's.
"I didn't feel like he had the best interest of the city at heart and that his discretion or perspective of what the city wanted and ours (the council's) was different," Fowler said Thursday.
Fowler also said he asked Weiss privately to step down because he was thinking of Weiss' feelings.
"It's a lot nicer to do something privately than publicly," Fowler said.
Weiss refused and said Fowler then sent him a letter informing him his services were no longer needed.
Carpenter said Tuesday he was against Weiss' removal because the cause for his discharge was not clear.

Read the full story in Saturday's Bryan County News.

 

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