It’s back to the drawing board for the Altha Town Council. During a special meeting last Tuesday night, the Council decided to take another look at the Town’s charter before proceeding with plans to eliminate the police department.
As previously reported in The County Record, the Council voted 3-2 to no longer have a police force during a regular meeting Aug. 9. However, Town Attorney Matt Fuqua later advised that the Council could vote to no longer fund the police department, but could not eliminate it without amending the charter.
“The charter will be re-written and we’ve postponed the decision,” Mayor Wes Johnston reports, noting the matter was tabled last Tuesday. “The police department is still in operation and fully functional until the charter is re-written or they do something else.”
Councilman Derek Creamer, who made the motion to eliminate the police department, will no longer be on the Council after the end of the month. According to Johnston, it was discovered in recent weeks Creamer should have qualified to seek re-election over the summer. Creamer was appointed in 2010 to fill a vacancy on the Council and the charter says any member appointed must run in the next election. The position was not advertised as vacant, but the Council is holding Creamer to the terms of the charter.
Political newcomer Charlotte Januse is set to fill Creamer’s spot. She initially filed to run against incumbents Lee Alday and Joe Amason, but the Council decided no election was necessary with Creamer’s seat now vacant. Johnston says Januse will be sworn in at the Sept. 13 meeting, along with Alday and Amason.