Reidsville City Councilman Doug Williams has attended one meeting since January 2022, according to meeting records.
The council discussed his absence at the August 1 planning session and the August 8 council meeting.
According to section 5:5 of the city charter, “The mayor or any councilman shall be subject to removal from office for any one or more of the following causes:
- Incompetence, misfeasance or malfeasance in office;
- Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
- Failure at any time to possess any of the qualifications of office as provided by this charter of law;
- Willful violation of any express prohibition of this charter;
- Abandonment of office or neglect to perform the duties thereof; or
- Failure for any other cause to perform the duties of office as required by this charter or by law.”
At the August 8 meeting, the Reidsville City Council voted to contact Councilman Doug Williams via phone call and ask him if he would resign due to his abandonment of office or neglect to perform the duties thereof.
Councilwoman Lindsay Bennett made the motion to table a discussion on this topic until the Tuesday, August 23 called meeting; Donald Prestage seconded. No one opposed.
“I love Doug, I do. He is a friend to us and a friend to everybody. We love him, but, at the same time, the citizens elect you to this seat; you have to show up and be here to make decisions,” Bennett said. “I hate to be the one making this motion.”
City Clerk Nivea Jackson and Councilwoman Verdie Williams both stated that Doug wishes to stay on the council, and he said he will be in attendance on August 23 and going forward. If Doug does not show at the August 23 meeting, the council is going to move forward with removing him from his seat.
A letter will be sent out to Doug, notifying him of this decision, according to City Attorney DuAnn Cowart-Davis.
“I think it is best in the city’s interest and in Doug’s interest that he steps down,” Prestage said. “If he is formally removed from his seat and ever wants to run for office again, that is going to always haunt him. We should ask him to step down, and maybe he can run again when he is retired and has more time.”
Council members get paid $250 per month regardless of whether they attend the planning sessions or council meetings.
The City will not be able to meet the November 2022 elections deadline, which is August 10. They, however, can hold a special election if Doug resigns or if he is removed from office, but the cost for a special election is higher.