West Point accepting city council applications

Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

WEST POINT – During a Tuesday afternoon work session, the West Point City Council decided to accept applications for the currently-vacant city council seat through Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. 

After some discussion amongst the council, the decision was made to interview candidates during the March 7 work session, with the hopes of nominating a sixth and final member during the March 11 business meeting. 

The council is tasked with filling the vacancy recently left by Benjamin Wilcox, who stepped down from his seat on Jan. 14 after accepting the position of West Point municipal court assistant judge. Once the application period has ended, the council will interview candidates prior to making an appointment, which is in step with how the council has handled special elections in the past. 

In the discussion, the council expressed an interest to have the newest member in place by its mid-February retreat. 

However, the ultimate decision was that such a timeline was too tight to ensure the correct decision was made.  

“I know we’d like to get this person in before the retreat, but also we’ve got to be mindful that we are making a really important decision,” Councilman Henry Hutchinson said. “I don’t see the rush. If we’re going to do it effectively, we should take the time to make sure we ask good questions before we make a decision.”

West Point Fire Chief Milton Smith was also in attendance to present a 2018 review of the WPFD. 

During Smith’s presentation, he made note to thank the council for their continued financial and budgetary support of the fire department. 

“Everyone in government is being asked to do more with less [funding],” Smith said. “We’re doing more with the same, and I thank you for your continued support.”

During the Tuesday work session, the council also discussed:

  • A proposed update to the city’s current gas rate structure, which has not been updated in the last 20 years. The move would be a revenue-neutral change, thus is not intended to increase or decrease the level of revenue the city brings in from gas rates.

“We are in the process of looking at our gas rate, which is 20 years old,” City Manager Ed Moon said. “We’ve really come to the conclusion that our rate is not what it needs to be, the industry has moved beyond this rate.”

  • A proposal from Amanda Jones, a citizen, to erect a Lending Library/Pantry within the city located on the 800 block of Avenue E. 
  • An update to the Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG) Inter-Participant Contract that would ensure the cost associated with handling permits be applied to specific participating cities. 
  • Amendments to the city’s personnel policy.