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Damascus mayor, council member resign

DAMASCUS -- The mayor and at least one member of the city council of Damascus have resigned, leaving questions about the fate of the Early County city.

Vivien Pounder officially offered her resignation to city attorney Tommy Coleman Friday citing her employment obligations, although she's been out of town for an extended period, Coleman said.

Also officially resigning is Council member Bridget Wells, who gave notice to Coleman Monday.

Wells, Council Member Gwen Shuler and Tanya Williams-Sol each left the council's last meeting vowing to resign and never return.

Coleman said that he has sent written requests to the other two council members asking them to put their intentions to resign or to stay on the council in writing. Should they resign, they'll leave only Council Member and Mayor Pro-tem Nathaniel Thompson on the board.

Under the city charter, any vacant seats are appointed by the remaining members of the board but if all of the commissioners resign, the probate judge would then call a special election to fill the seats, Coleman said.

According to Coleman, the mayor had asked Coleman to contact the county to look into the possibility and requirements of unincorporating the city.

With a utility customer base of 125 members and a small police department, it likely wouldn't be an arduous task but it would be a responsibility that the county must assume. The county could sell the utility to a private owner or create a water authority to govern its use, Coleman said.

However, any consideration of unincorporating the city is still in its infancy.