MARY ANN ANDERSON
With the absence of Mayor Bayne Stone, who was out of town for a family medical matter, and City Attorney Ken W. Smith, plus the unfilled Ward 2 seat held by former councilman and now mayor-elect John Ramay, the Hazlehurst City Council desk contained three empty chairs out of seven.
The six-minute combined workshop and regular November meeting, with Ward 1’s Dywane Johnson presiding as mayor pro-tem in Stone’s absence, was also attended by Diane Leggett of Ward 3 and Ward 4’s John Bloodworth.
Thursday’s regular meeting was rescheduled to combine with Monday’s workshop, as City Clerk Vernice Thompson will be at a conference on Jekyll Island on Thursday for Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s Georgia Local Government Personnel Association. December’s workshop and regular meeting schedule will return to normal and take place on Dec. 18 and 21, respectively.
During Monday night’s combination meeting, the council unanimously approved the 2024 work session and council meeting schedule, October’s police report from the Hazlehurst Police Department, check register and water and sewer adjustments. The council also approved August’s departmental reports.
In the Citizens’ Comments section, Thompson reminded the council that City Hall will close at noon on Nov. 22 for the Thanksgiving holidays and will reopen Nov. 27.
December’s workshop and monthly meeting will be Stone’s last as mayor. He served the city from 2008-12 and again from 2016-24. Ramay will take the reigns as mayor at a swearing-in ceremony in January. The meetings will also be Bloodworth’s last, as his term expires after serving Ward 4 for eight years.