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Henderson explains reasoning for resignation from city council

Published 6:14pm Friday, June 7, 2013

Jim Henderson said he resigned from the Jemison City Council because he wasn’t provided enough information about the city’s finances.

Mayor Eddie Reed and other council members said a computer crash was to blame for a lack of information at council meetings and work is underway to correct the problem.

Henderson explained on Wednesday the main catalyst for submitting his resignation from his District 2 council seat on Monday was he did not want to continue voting to pay city bills without knowing how much money was being spent or what the money was being spent on.

“I wasn’t brought up that way,” Henderson said. “ I am not accusing anyone of any wrongdoings but it goes against my conviction to vote to pay for bills that I have never seen before.”

According to Henderson, since being sworn in as a councilman on Nov. 5, 2012, he developed frustrations that council members would vote to pay the city bills prior to adjourning the council meetings and never review the bills before voting on them.

“When I was sworn in as a councilman, I was told part of my role as a councilman was to oversee the financial expenditures of the city,” Henderson said. “How can I be a responsible councilman for the citizens of this city when I vote to pay for things and I never see what I am paying for?”

Henderson said he requested to see a list of the bills being paid by the city and was provided a check registry spanning from Nov. 9, 2012, to March 21, 2013, but he did not receive the registry until the end of April.

Henderson said his desire was to have a list of the bills given to each councilman prior to the council meetings and be able to review the expenditures during the “pay the bills” portion of the meeting before voting to pay them.

Reed said the computer crashing earlier this year did result in some of the financial information not always being readily available prior to council meetings.

However, during a May 16 work session, Reed said city clerk Sheila Hogge informed the council there would be a delay with some of the financial records due to the computer crash and the city was working on a new database that would store all of the financial information.

Henderson did not attend the May 16 work session.

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