Changes in the document include replacement of the requirement of a unanimous vote to amend the constitution with a two-thirds vote, and perhaps more controversially, inclusion of an absentee voting clause.
Former President Kevin Terrell asked about the legality of the previous constitution if he possessed a signed copy.
Thomas said that he considered the older document to be null and void if unsigned.
“I don’t like the absentee voting at all. It’s a way to load a vote if people are out of town. Also, we can’t vote without holding a discussion on the issue first. We need to talk to people and ask more questions. There is no sense in voting if we don’t have the full picture,” said Terrell.
Thomas noted that the constitution required a proposed amendment be presented to the board at least one week before a vote would be held, allowing for discussion at that point.
Though originally denied permission to speak by Thomas, a visibly heated Stacey Futrell said that he supported the position held by his brother-in-law Terrell. “This proves his point,” he said. “I had no problems with the constitution the first time it came up, but when Kevin discussed it, I felt differently. It proves the point that we need discussion. Having to be present to vote protects board members because I would hate for an absentee ballot to be cast without all the facts.”
Terrell added, “Congress requires you to be present to vote. Fiscal Court requires you to be present to vote, so why should this be any different?”
When called on to vote by Thomas, the board voted three to two in favor of the constitution. Shane Dixon, Lennus Redd and Scottie Hampton in favor, while Terrell and Futrell voted against. Without the two-thirds majority required by the constitution to pass, the motion failed.
Read more about the Recreation Complex' actions in the April 16 Cadiz Record, including an editorial from Managing Editor Vyron Mitchell.