Century Council Cancels Unadvertised Meeting; Fails To Pick Leader; Questions Job Posting

January 8, 2019

The Century Town Council called off a meeting Monday night that was not advertised, raised questions about how an open position was advertised, and deadlocked on choosing a council president for the current year.

Unadvertised Meeting

During their last meeting of December, the council agreed with a suggestion by council member Luis Gomez to meet a half-hour before regular 7 p.m. council meetings in order to discuss their bill list in more detail.

When 6:30 rolled around Monday night, three council members were at the council table as president Ann Brooks announced there would be no early meeting because it was not advertised. Gomez did not attend Monday night’s meetings, and the 7 p.m. regular meeting continued as usual.

Florida’s Sunshine Law requires proper notice of public meetings.

Council President

When it came time Monday night to pick a council president for 2019, Sandra McMurray Jackson nominated Ben Boutwell and Boutwell nominated current president Ann Brooks. Jackson and James Smith voted for Boutwell, while Boutwell and Brooks voted for Brooks, resulting in a tie. Council member Gomez was absent from the meeting.

“I think you’ve done a wonderful job,” Boutwell said as he renounced his nomination for council president and ceded the nomination to Brooks.

The four council members then voted on the remaining nomination for Brooks, but that vote ended in a 2-2 tie with Jackson and Smith voting no.

Brooks then announced that she would continue as council president until there were five council members at a future meeting to vote and break the tie.

Job Posting

Mayor Henry Hawkins announced that employment interviews would be held January 10 and 11 for an open billing clerk position, and he faced questions about the methods used, and not used, to advertise the open position.

The position with a job description was posted on the Employ Florida Marketplace website, and a small display ad was published in the Tri-City Ledger weekly newspaper.

The newspaper ad stated “Public Notice Town of Century Job Posting” with instruction to apply at Employ Florida or pick up an application at Century Town Hall. The newspaper ad did not include the position title, job description, closing date or any other information.

The ad was never provided to NorthEscambia.com for publication, despite a council vote several years ago to submit all public notices to NorthEscambia.com.

NorthEscambia.com publishes those notices as public service at no cost to the Town of Century.

Pictured top: Century council members (L-R) Ann Brooks, Sandra McMurray Jackson and Ben Boutwell as an unadvertised early meeting is canceled Monday night. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


7 Responses to “Century Council Cancels Unadvertised Meeting; Fails To Pick Leader; Questions Job Posting”

  1. Solve the problem on January 8th, 2019 11:38 am

    Email the joint legislating auditing committee and request an audit by the auditor general. Make sure you also send supporting documents


  2. Chelleepea on January 8th, 2019 11:34 am

    Ms. Brooks is the smartest person on the council. She’s the only one who asks questions and tries very hard to keep up with the town’s business. Mr. Boutwell is a good guy and I’m sure he will do fine as president but the town needs a hardball.

    Unfortunately the other council members are voting by feeling not head. I’m sure their feelings got hurt sometime or another by Ms. Brooks straightforwardness. But they must remember they’re not there to make friends with the mayor or council president . …they are there to serve the citizens of Century.

  3. David Huie Green on January 8th, 2019 11:21 am

    Not to be picky, but nominations CAN be declined, especially if the nominee intends to nominate someone else.

    David for Roberts Rules

  4. IMHO on January 8th, 2019 11:14 am

    It’s ridiculous that the people in Century have to deal with this every day. I can’t imag trying to do business with this Council. Dont y’all see it’s not just the Mayor? Ann does a fine job of manipulation in my opinion. Nice of you to remain President. Then the defunct gas dept Superintendent is promoted to Town Clerk and now minutes are stolen, misplaced or just ignored. Take a look at your Town Clerks Facebook page. Century’s issues are much deeper than a racially biased Mayor, greedy pockets and incompetence. I’m praying for the Citizens of Century

  5. chris on January 8th, 2019 10:30 am

    Why would an individual push for an earlier council meeting, and then not show up? Perhaps they read the Sunshine Law and saw the error of their ways?
    Every story from NE.com paints a picture of a town just waiting to go fins up in the tank.

  6. Anne on January 8th, 2019 6:46 am

    My Goodness Gracious, what a twisted and dark story unfolds with the Town of Century. One thing after another and the Citizens are at the hands of people who seem very confused.
    Lord help all involved.

  7. Nite Owl on January 8th, 2019 3:14 am

    Ann Brooks seems smarter than all of them put together and looks like two others didn’t like her challenging the head man in charge.
    They don’t seem to know they can advertise an executive session.
    Looks like they don’t want Northescambia in their business.

    Mayor thinks everything should come through him. Nope, that’s not the way it works.
    Yes man most likely won’t vote for Brooks either..Rock keeps rolling downhill.

    “I’m the only one ’round here says when it’s quitting time”
    “Quitting time”
    (From Gone with the Wind)

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