Jacksonville City Council Fails to Meet Quorum But Honors Local Hero, Police Promotions

By Benjamin Cox on June 12, 2024 at 8:53am

The Jacksonville City Council was unable to officially hold an official meeting Monday night.

Five of the 10 members of the city council were in attendance. Six are needed to have an official quorum. Quorum is the minimum number of elected officials needed to conduct official business of a public body. Those not present included Ward 1 Alderwoman Eren Williams, Ward 2 Alderwoman Alison Rubin de Celis, Ward 3 Alderman Joe Lockman, Ward 4 Aldermen Aaron Scott and Brett Henry.

Mayor Andy Ezard says its the first time in his tenure he can remember the city council missing quorum: “I don’t recall it ever happening..heck..yeah, I mean it happens – people schedule vacations, ball games, surgeries. It’s just that things happen. Although there was no official business taken that we could vote on, it was still very important to have this meeting because the presentation to Michael Gillespie regarding his heroism to save the life of his co-worker and friend Mike Woods.”

Around midday on May 13th, Woods and Gillespie were mowing around Lake Mauvaisterre. Gillespie had traveled ahead of Woods and noticed that Woods had not caught up to him. Gillespie traveled back to the spot where he had last seen in his co-worker and found the mower and Woods in the water, with the mower on top of Woods. Gillespie jumped in the lake and was able to pull the mower off of Woods and pull Woods from the water and begin CPR. Shortly after, first responders arrived and Woods’ life was saved. Woods was in attendance for the presentation. A video of the presentation can be found on the WLDS News Facebook page.

Gillespie was presented a plaque from the city for his life-saving efforts and given an honorary citation from the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. Gillespie and Woods embraced in the Council Board Room, as the two men are long-time friends and coworkers. Woods is expected to make a recovery in the coming months.

Two police officers were also given new badges by their families for promotions in the Jacksonville Police Department.

Ezard says that city officials were going to look at the agenda on Tuesday and see if an emergency meeting needs to be called to conduct official business prior to the next scheduled City Council meeting on June 24th.

According to the agenda, items that will get pushed to later on this month include accepting a proposal for a new dump trailer for the Jacksonville Cemeteries Department, signing off on an agreement with PGAV Planners, LLC for updating and codifying changes to the city’s zoning ordinance, a change order by Gano Electric for two pump station projects, and three separate rezoning requests.

One item that was not listed for discussion on Monday night but it will be added to the agenda at the end of the month is the annual fireworks contract for the 4th of July Celebration. Ezard says J &M Displays will continue their ongoing long-time relationship with the city for fireworks again this year and the contract arrived in his office on Monday with no price increase.