WARNER ROBINS -- City Councilman Daron Lee tried to step down from his seat on the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency board at a Monday night meeting, but a proposed change to the agency’s bylaws did not receive enough votes.
Lee’s role on the RDA board has raised questions of whether he and his brother Gary Lee, who is the agency’s executive director, are violating the city’s anti-nepotism policy.
Rather than abstain from votes in future RDA matters, Daron Lee said he would like to see Tim Thomas, who serves on the committee for the Georgia–Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership, serve in his place on the agency’s board.
“In order of the well-being of the city of Warner Robins, I think it’s best,” Daron Lee said. “I don’t mind sacrificing power. It’s not about me.”
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While a majority of members approved the change, it did not pass, as five votes were required for that to happen.
Mike Daley, chairman of the RDA, along with Daron Lee, Paul Shealy and Bob Wilbanks, voted for the bylaw change. Tom Simms, Jr. and John Williams opposed it.
“When you ran for the office of council, you knew what came with the job,” Williams said to Daron Lee. “It’s the people’s money. You were elected to do the job.”
“John Williams had big problems with the RDA a year ago,” Wilbanks said after the meeting. “Now suddenly he opposes (appointing) someone in place. It’s classic obstruction. He contradicts himself.”
Simms said he voted against the change because he objected to appointing someone taking Lee’s place without establishing a review process for the replacement candidate or opening the process to other candidates.
“To have (someone) chosen by the candidate is not advantageous to the city of Warner Robins,” he said. “There are many qualified persons who would be willing.”
Daron Lee tried to vacate his seat with the RDA in October, but could not do so without a change to the organization’s bylaws.
In other business, the RDA agreed to cover the travel expenses for Rosser International, an architectural and engineering firm which has been charged with finding funding for G-RAMP and addressed questions submitted last year from outgoing Houston County Commission Chairman Ned Sanders on the issue.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.