Concerns that a resolution passed Tuesday night by the Woodbury Board of Mayor and Aldermen might violate the town's charter are unfounded, Mayor Harold Patrick said Thursday.
However, Patrick indicated he will consult with Alderman Faye Knox prior to next month's Board meeting about amending the resolution to clarify that citizens can still have their grievances heard by the town's governing body.
A resolution does not override the town's charter, Patrick said.
The mayor is the only person with the authority to set the agenda for a meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. Aldermen themselves have no authority to instruct the town's department heads or employees to take action on any matter.
"The purpose of Alderman Knox's resolution which the Board adopted was to avoid people coming to it with matters prior to seeing if their concerns could be adequately addressed through other channels," Patrick said.
The resolution sets forth the process by which citizens can have their issues addressed. It starts with them contacting one of the town's three department heads, City Recorder Charlene Odom, Public Works Director Alan Paschal and Chief of Police Tony Burnett.
Should after allowing an ample and reasonable amount of time to have the department head address the matter and a citizen is not satisfied with the result, that person can then go to the mayor for further action.
"If that person wants to appeal or has an issue, if they are not satisfied with how it is initially handled, then they can come talk to me about it," Patrick said.
"I as mayor will investigate the complaint and if in my determination a department head has acted sufficiently in addressing the matter I will advise that person," Patrick said. "If at that point that person is not satisfied with the action of the department head or my action as mayor, I will give them the opportunity to appeal our decisions to the Board."
An aldermen or the Board as a whole can not instruct the mayor to not place an item on the agenda for a meeting, Patrick said.
"I will not deny any person who wants to appear before the Board the opportunity to do so," Patrick said. "We simply are encouraging citizens to contact our department heads with a problem before that step becomes necessary. In most all cases they will find it is not."