The City Council voted this week to remove residents serving on the zoning, parks, community development corporation and other boards and commissions in the city, saying it was time to wipe the slate clean and start over.
Councilman Cameron Wafer, who voted against removing the members, some of whom have served for 20 years, said they had volunteered countless hours for the city and brought knowledge and experience.
When asked why the council voted 4-3 to remove the board members, Wafer said some on the council “wanted to clean house” and that paperwork showing how long board and commission members had served didn’t document the length of their board terms.
“This really hurt my heart,” said Wafer, who serves on the community development corporation board.
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Wafer said people wanting to serve, including former board members, can apply for the open positions until July 28. The council will then review the applications.
Mayor Lyndia Thomas could not be reached for comment.
Councilwoman Carlie Jones said she is worried that Forest Hill will come to a “standstill” since crucial decisions are made in zoning cases and in considering economic development opportunities for the city.
Jones questioned why the council didn’t look at filling vacancies on the various boards instead of kicking off the current members.
“I didn’t agree with the decision,” she said. “I said we are doing our citizens an injustice by dissolving the boards.”