Harlem council members put the finishing touches on changes that will affect how the city operates for some time to come.
The biggest of those could be the approval of four committees which will operate similar to those used by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners in that they will have a chair and co-chair.
This is different from previous years where council members would oversee one or more departments by themselves and be heavily involved with their operation.
"(The committees) take the council away from micro managing," Mayor John Bentley said. "And it puts them back into establishing policy and procedure."
The one problem with having committees, Bentley said, is trying to recruit residents to join and be active.
Along with new committees, Harlem has a new Mayor Pro-Tem. Scott Dean was unanimously elected by council members after Craig Brooks made the motion to elect him and Robin Root, former pro-tem, seconded it.
"I'm thankful to the rest of council for their vote of confidence," said Dean, who begins his second term as council member. "That's like them saying they think I am doing a good job."
According to the city's charter, council must elect a pro-tem at the first meeting of each year.
As pro-tem, Dean will be in charge should the Mayor not be able to perform for any reason. Root said she was rarely called the shots during her one year as pro-tem.
"There was one meeting that the Mayor was running late so I started the meeting," she said.
In other personnel moves, Jean Dove was officially promoted from city clerk to city administrator. To replace Dove, council named Debra Moore as the city's new clerk.
2002 Harlem Council Committees
John F. Bentley: Chairman, Administrative Department; Library, Chamber of Commerce
Craig Brooks: Chairman, Police Department; Co-Chair, Streets and Drains
Scott Dean: Chairman, Water and Waste; Co-Chair, Fire Department
Randall Hill: Chairman, Streets and Drains; Co-Chair, Water and Waste
Robin Root: Chairwoman, Fire Department; Co-Chair, Police Department
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