Planning commission tables resignation request

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A letter calling for the resignation of Planning Commission member Mark Odom was expected to be discussed when the Washington County Planning Commission met in regular session on Dec. 6, but the matter was tabled until the January meeting.

The request for the letter comes from allegations by other board members that Odom lied in a statement made in the October 4 meeting about an alleged conversation with Chipley Mayor Tracy Andrews regarding her input on the county’s comprehensive plan.

“I know that Mayor Andrews and Cindy Birge are not satisfied that they have been able to help engineer this [comprehensive plan],” the minutes from the meeting in question cite Odom as saying.

Gay said he spoke with Mayor Andrews, and she stated she had not had a conversation with Odom prior to that Oct. 4 meeting.

“I called Mayor Andrews … She said she has never spoken to Mr. Odom in regard to that,” Gay said. “Those comments were misleading and inaccurate to this board.”

A review of the audio recording from the Oct. 4 meeting does not have a record of Odom saying he spoke to Andrews, although he does state he knew Andrews was “not satisfied” with the comprehensive plan process.

Chairman David Morris was charged with composing the letter but says he isn’t quite finished. “I do not feel the letter is ready to come before the board this month,” said Morris. “I will have it completed for our January meeting.”

Commission member John Gay stated he wanted the letter in the minutes. “I want to make sure the letter is in the minutes and a part of this commission,” said Gay. “Based on the facts that we asked you to write the letter on. I don’t want this forgotten or looked over or swept under the rug. I just want to make sure that whatever happens in the future that this letter is prepared.” 

Morris assured the commission the letter would be prepared by the next meeting.

In other business, member Darrin Wall resigned from the planning commission after a discussion with County Attorney Matt Fuqua. The discovery of a statute that states the member appointed to a seat must live in the district they will represent. Wall resided in District 2 at the time of his appointment to the board but has since moved to District 4. Wall says he would serve again. “I have enjoyed my time on this board,” said Wall. “Should the opportunity to serve again arise, I would gladly serve again.”

Washington County Planning Commission will meet again in regular session at 5 p.m. on January 3.

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