Phillips warns to be careful on appointments

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lewisburg Mayor Bob Phillips offered an observation during a recent City Council workshop on human nature and how it might conflict with a desire to make government participation open to an application process.

When a new member of the city's Industrial Development Board was appointed by the Council last month, several city residents indicated they didn't know the board had an opening. Questions were raised about whether residents could apply for such positions.

While one city panel chairwoman pointed out that the opening had been announced at a public meeting and that fact had been reported in this newspaper, a couple of residents, including the then-candidate for mayor, Jerry Freeman, asked if an application process could be created.

If applications are accepted for openings on the various city committees, Mayor Phillips told the council, then usually only one applicant can be appointed. And, Phillips pointed out, the remaining applicants -- perhaps half a dozen people, could be disappointed.

The outgoing mayor made sure it was understood that he endorsed neither method, but explained much of governing is through decisions that will probably dismay some people.

Phillips' comments came during a budget workshop where he also said he'd refrain from too many suggestions since he will leave office when the new mayor is sworn in. Traditionally, that's on June 1.

He stayed at the workshop a short time longer until his wife, Farris, came to pick him up at City Hall.