Council conflict: Geneva City Councilman says his voice is not being heard by fellow council members

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GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — Tuesday night, things came to a head at the Geneva City Council meeting when councilman Rufus Lee addressed members for constantly denying his requests.

Lee said when deciding who serves on the Geneva City School Board, his requests always falls on deaf ears.

“I’ve been sitting here this 33 years, not at time has this council accepted the nominee I stated earlier,” Lee said.

For some time now, Lee has been recommending Tewanna Marks to join the board but he says he’s gotten rejected every time.

“I want a person on that school board that’s going to represent the black community who has a vested interest in the school system,” Lee said.

According to Lee, commissioners continue to reappoint the same superintendents. He told WDHN that school board officials decisions played a role in this.

“I don’t feel it was correct for the school superintendent to write a letter and recommend to the council for who to reappoint and to me that’s unethical,” Lee said.

While the current candidate is a minority, those in the black community don’t feel connected to them.

“He’s said that before and they still give him the same response and I feel nobody is taking him serious and nobody is coming and reaching out to our community,” Lee said. “Plenty of our community is leaving. Nothing’s being done about it,” said Khandi Tolbert.

Mayor David Hayes said it was a matter of not having enough members and understands both sides.

“I don’t think it was an intentional thing in any way shape or form it’s just the way it played out we just didn’t have enough council members to vote,” Hayes said. “I’m just glad we got it over with now and again it’ll be time for another appointment.”

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