McDONOUGH — A special called meeting by Board of Commission members Dee Clemmons, Bruce Holmes and Vivian Thomas was unable to move forward Tuesday due to lack of a quorum.
The meeting was called after BOC Chair Carlotta Harrell canceled the regular Tuesday meeting due to COVID-19.
Commissioner Gary Barham was admitted to the hospital last week with COVID-19.
Harrell said she opted to cancel the meeting because so many county employees are contracting the virus despite safety procedures in place.
“It’s still a public building, and people are coming in,” she said.
County employees are currently working on a hybrid schedule — some at home while others are in the building.
Though BOC meetings are held virtually, several staff members must be in attendance to give presentations and answer questions. Information technology staff members are also required to be in the building to run the meeting.
“I did it for the safety of our employees,” Harrell said.
Despite the fact there was no quorum and a recommendation from the county attorney to end the session, the three board members continued discussion while waiting to see if another BOC member would join the virtual meeting.
Clemmons said they called the special meeting because county business needed to be handled.
“We’ve got to learn to govern through a crisis,” she said.
Clemmons claimed the business of the county is on hold “until the chair elects to hold another meeting.”
Thomas said she was “inundated with text messages and harsh emails” over the cancellation.
“The meeting was canceled by the chair on her own accord,” she said.
Thomas called Harrell’s ability to cancel the meeting a “danger,” adding that it’s “too much power in the hands of one person.”
Harrell said though no meeting was held Tuesday, the business of the county is still being done.
“The day-to-day work continues and things are still getting done in spite of the virus,” she said.
“I’m going to always do what’s right and try to provide good governance,” Harrell added.