Portsmouth City Council met Monday evening and entered an hourlong executive session with City Manager Sam Sutherland to discuss several different matters of business, including personnel, just minutes into the regular session meeting.
Upon their return, council swiftly moved through the legislative portion of the meeting, with eight of the nine items being passed or adopted. Council passed an ordinance authorizing the City Auditor to amend appropriations to reflect actual revenues and expenditures in order to balance and close the city’s books for the fiscal year, as scheduled for a third reading. Additionally, council elected to waive the mandatory three reading rule for the remainder of the agenda items, with the exception of one ordinance authorizing the City Manager to offer for sale surplus city real estate and enter into a contract for sale, which was passed for a first reading.
As announced at the previous regular session meeting of Portsmouth City Council, Monday’s meeting marked the last meeting for 5th Ward Councilman Gene Meadows. Meadows stated he would officially be resigning as of Dec. 16; the next date which council is set to meet. In their individual reports and ward reports, members of council expressed best wishes to Meadows in all his future endeavors and stated that it had been a pleasure to work with him on council.
While reports are normally given in order of ward, Mayor Kevin E. Johnson saved Meadows’ final report as 5th Ward Councilman for last. “It’s been an interesting several years. I’ve learned a lot, said a lot. Hopefully, I’ve listened more than I’ve said, but that don’t always happen,” said Meadows. “Like I’ve said, this has been a good group and we’ve made some progress. Still, a long way to go, but we’ve made some good progress and things are happening in Portsmouth that are looking good. It’s time for a change in my life, it’s time to move on. Can’t do stuff forever. I’ll miss working with you all. I absolutely will. Sometimes after a long day at the office, it was hard to get down here, sometimes I didn’t make it. I know I’ve made some decisions that not everyone has agreed with. I hope they respect the fact that in my opinion, it was the best decision for the city at the time it was made,” Meadows said. Meadows advice to remaining members of council was to make decisions based on what was best overall for Portsmouth and the people they serve
“That’s what you all have to do. If you’re going to make decisions the people don’t agree with, remember to make it in the best interest of your city, your constituents, do what’s right. AS long as you do that everything will work out over time. I want to thank the people that have supposed me,” said Meadows. “With that, I’m out of here.”
City Clerk Diana Ratliff advised that as of Monday evening she had received three resumes for the now vacant position of 5th Ward Councilperson, with the deadline to submit being Dec. 11 at noon.