By David Webb
KEMP–Mayor Laura Hanna Peace introduced resident Alvin Miller to the Kemp City Council Tuesday as the newest volunteer to step forward to help govern the city.
Miller, who is a native of Kemp, will be sworn into office by Peace at the April meeting to fill the unexpired seat of former Councilman Jerry Hazelip who died of a heart attack last year. Peace said Miller could not be sworn in at the March meeting as planned because of the lack of a super majority of council members.
Council member Jackie Self missed the meeting because of a relative’s illness, Peace said. The attendance of Peace, Mayor Pro Tem Barry Lummus and Council members Christie Neal and Leona Bounds established a quorum for only routine business.
Peace said the addition of another council member to fill the council desk will prevent important business being delayed if a council member must miss a meeting in the future.
“Thank you for agreeing to join us,” Peace said to Miller. “Alvin is well known and respected by everyone in the community. We really appreciate your willingness to help.”
Miller, who is a self-employed carpenter, said he appreciated the mayor asking him to volunteer. “It’s going to be a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Attendance by the public at the previously contentious council meetings has fallen off to almost nothing in recent months. On the mayor’s Facebook page, Peace recently wrote, “I want to thank everyone for the kind words of support and gratitude for my part in moving our town forward, but I must give credit where it’s due: without a great council I could do nothing.” She praised council members “can do” attitudes.
Peace said the city is planning to conduct a summer concert series in the park with a band being booked every weekend in June to perform at the City Park stage, which is known as “The Bridge.” The stage was constructed using a century-old iron bridge that used to span King’s Creek near the city.
The mayor said the Wildflower Festival April 11 will go on as scheduled, and that city officials expect all of the vendor booths to be filled. The festival will include entertainment.
Hillcrest Baptist Church will conduct Sunrise Easter services at The Bridge, Peace added.
Peace said the opening of the new Walmart neighborhood grocery store on Highway 274 was a success and a huge benefit to the city.
The council meeting lasted only 15 minutes with the proclamation of “Poison Prevention Week” in Kemp the second week in March being the only business conducted.
There would be no need for an executive session, Peace said.