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Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor refused Monday night to execute a resolution approved unanimously by the city council, apparently due to a personal grievance.
The mayor said he could not support proposed revisions to the South Georgia Governmental Services Authority Act “to accommodate one person” and that if the resolution was passed he would not sign it and commented, “I’ll let the mayor pro tem do the honor.”
The South Georgia Governmental Services Authority is made up of representatives of the cities of Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie and Thomasville. The authority owns all of the assets of Community Network Services, now known as CNSNext.
The original legislation stated that members of the authority who were employees of the member cities must be residents of that community. The late Rep. Jay Powell of Camilla had drafted legislation before his death to be introduced in the current session of the General Assembly to delete certain wording and insert the following: “Each member must be a resident of the county in which the city making the appointment is located or an employee of the city making the appointment. At least one of each City’s appointees shall be either an employee of the City or an elected official of the City.”
According to Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton, who serves on the authority as one of Cairo’s representatives, the majority of the member cities support the revision.
Addleton also says the change will make it possible for Camilla City Manager Steve Sykes to serve as an authority member. Sykes, a former Thomasville city manager, has had his qualifications to serve under the current legislation questioned, according to Addleton. This has prevented Camilla from having two voting members on the authority until the issue is resolved.
Mayor Gainor said when he was an employee of CNS in 2017 and qualified to run for mayor of Cairo he was forced to resign. He said there are rules for a reason and just because the city manager of one city lives in another community that is not justification to change the requirements for the benefit of one individual.
At the time Gainor was forced to resign as a CNS employee, Sykes was the city manager of Thomasville. However, Sykes was not the immediate supervisor of CNS personnel and it was a City of Thomasville policy that was enforced with regards to Gainor’s situation.
CNS employees at the time were officially employees of the City of Thomasville and were governed by Thomasville’s employee manual and policies.Thomasville has a conflict of interest clause in its personnel manual that prohibits city employees from seeking elected office.
With the mayor refusing to sign the document unanimously passed Monday night, Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Cox executed the resolution on behalf of the City of Cairo.
Addleton says he is hopeful the legislation revising the legislative act creating the S.G.G.S.A. will be approved during the current session of the General Assembly.
In related news, the council:
Reappointed Matt McCaskill to the Cairo Development Authority for a three-year term.
Reappointed Charles Davis to the Joint Development Authority for a three-year term.