MEIGS — Meigs Mayor Linda Harris missed the deadline to appeal an effort by voters to recall her.
“I’m gonna let it run its course,” Harris said. “I don’t really think they’ll get enough signatures to recall me.”
Following a collection of 62 signatures by the “Taking a Stand” committee to apply for a petition to recall the mayor, Harris had 10 days to appeal to the Thomas County Superior Court.
She let that time run out.
Elections Supervisor Frank Scoggins said the committee, headed by Meigs restaurateur Lori White, will receive the official recall petition on Monday. After that, the committee will have 30 days to collect the needed 116 signatures of voters registered to vote in Meigs in 2013.
Scoggins has 30 days to certify those signatures, if they are collected, and then to “call for a recall election.” He said if the petition is successful, he expects the recall election will occur at the beginning or middle of January.
Mayor pro tem resigns
Mayor Pro Tem Levon Gassett resigned from the Meigs City Council Friday morning after a former city clerk charged in September with a felony was called in to train new city clerks.
“I have just been pushed over the limit by multiple things,” a very emotional Gassett told the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. “I can’t sleep. I have tried every single way to help Meigs except getting on a bus to see God.”
“I’m not doing any good,” he added, choking up. “Every time we take one step forward, we take 10 steps back. I turned in my resignation and I am moving on.”
Gassett, who didn’t seek re-election on Tuesday, said that Harris told him that Rene Boyd-Williams, charged in September with conspiracy to defraud state/political subdivision, was coming back to City Hall Friday morning. He said that he told Harris he was not sure that was the right thing to do. He said the first time he spoke with Boyd-Williams was when she pulled up to him outside of City Hall Friday and he told her he had resigned from the council.
Boyd-Williams told a different story. She said she was called by Gassett “to train a lady.” She said Gassett told her as she pulled up to City Hall that he had resigned.
“He’s the only one I trust and the only one I would work with,” she said.
She said she went into City Hall and saw Valerie West there as Cissy White was pulling up. West and White were recently named co-city clerks on a temporary basis.
Boyd-Williams said she was “done” when Gassett resigned and will not work at City Hall.
‘Wants to close police dept.’
According to a Thomas County Sheriff’s Office investigator, Meigs Mayor Linda Harris wants to close the Meigs Police Department and fire its chief because the chief is telling the truth about the troubled city and making the mayor and others look bad.
Louis Schofill said Harris called the Sheriff’s Office on Friday with questions about rehiring a former city clerk accused of a felony. During the conversation, Schofill said Harris told him that she wants to close down the police department.
“She told me that Chief (Gary) Price was not doing a good job,” said Schofill, “and that ‘the chief of police is telling the truth about what’s going on in Meigs and making me and (city council members) Jimmy Layton and Stephanie Battle look bad.’”
Schofill said he advised her against taking such action. He also said Harris told him that the new city attorney, Tom Lehman, will be meeting with Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell about shutting the Meigs Police Department down.
As of Friday afternoon, Powell said that meeting had not taken place, although Harris had reached out to him. Lehman has not been officially sworn in by the Meigs City Council.