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Norris City Council holds first Water Commission meeting; no chair selected

On Monday night (May 15), the Norris City Council met for the first time as the acting Norris Water Commission, but was not able to choose a chairman and vice chair.

Councilman Chuck Nicholson, who is believed to be favored by the council as the Water Commission chairman, was not able to attend the meeting.

Because of his absence, the other four council members sitting as water commissioners decided to defer choosing the chairman and vice chair until all five members could be present.

They set a special meeting of the Water Commission for 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, just prior to a City Council budget meeting, to choose the chairman and vice chair.

On Monday night, the council appointed Councilman Will Grinder to lead the meeting for that evening only.

The meeting mostly consisted of a small group of supporters of the old Water Commission pushing to have those people reinstated, even though all three of them resigned of their own accord.

A woman identified as the apparent has group’s spokesperson, stood up and read a two-page statement in support of water Superintendent Tony Wilkerson and the former board members whom the group wants reinstated – Richard Dyer, Sue Hill, and Margueritte Wilson.

Council members voted May 2 to make themselves the interim Water Commission, as there were no members left to make up a quorum, and the next fiscal year’s budget is now being developed.

The commission oversees the city’s water and sewer utilities.

Wilson resigned from the commission in an email to City Manager Adam Ledford on Friday, April 28, four days after the two others had submitted their resignations.

Chairman Dyer and Vice-Chair Hill sent their resignations by email to Mayor Chris Mitchell on the previous Monday.

A fourth member of the five-member commission, Alex North, resigned from the board in early April for personal reasons.

Wilson’s resignation left only one member still on the commission: city Councilwoman Loretta Painter, who represented the City Council.

Mayor Chris Mitchell called a special meeting of the City Council for May 2 to deal with the lack of a quorum on the Water Commission, and City Manager Adam Ledford advised the council that the only move available immediately was for the council itself to become the Water Commission, at least until a new slate of commissioners could be appointed.