Two new Midway city council members were sworn into office on Thursday, May 6 during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting, which also touched briefly on dissolving the town’s planning council, putting the planning council’s responsibilities into the city council’s lap.
At the start of the May 6 meeting, Charles Williams and Charles “Chuck” Willis were both sworn in by Midway City Attorney Anthony Thomas.
During the meeting, Midway’s new police chief Alexander D. Freeman was also sworn in by Thomas.
Following the swearing in ceremony, the council members voted to reappoint Ella Parker Dickey to serve another term as mayor, and Braheem Russ to serve another term as mayor pro-tem.
In other matters, the council members also voted unanimously to move forward with temporarily dissolving the city’s planning commission.
Thomas said a member of the planning commission recently resigned, and newly-elected Councilman Williams, who was the planning commission chair, had also resigned in order to run for city council.
Thomas also said the planning commission had not had a viable meeting since October, because the other members have not consistently attended meetings.
The planning commission has not been able to maintain quorum – which is the minimum number of members required to be present during the meeting. The quorum is dictated by Florida statute.
By dissolving the current planning and zoning commission, the planning commission’s powers and duties will be temporarily transferred to the city council.
The planning commission normally takes on issues concerning land, such as zoning, annexation and new businesses wanting to come to town.
The planning commission then makes a recommendation to the city council, and the city council makes a final decision.
Thomas said planning and zoning take on those tasks and duties to make sure the city council members have a clear and consistent decision making process in regards to land use.
“We’re asking the council to take on that, which means you guys are going to have to do a little more extra work to hear those issues that would normally come before planning and zoning,” Thomas told the council members.
He said after hearing the matters, the council would still have to make a decision.
Thomas said the council will reconstitute the planning commission board during the city council’s June meeting, when the council will hold a second reading and public hearing on the matter before voting on it.
Thomas said there were no issues before the planning commission at the time of Thursday’s meeting.
Erin Hill – email@example.com