ALBANY — The Albany City Commission made a handful of appointments to some of its volunteer boards this week, but tabled a controversial appointment to the aviation board.
City Commissioners unanimously approved the reappointment of Keith Fletcher to the Aviation Commission, and those of Brad Halford and Mathew Inman to the Chehaw Park Authority.
The commission unanimously approved two new appointments. Jaylynne “Bee” Byrum and Ashok Jain were each named to the Chehaw Park Authority to fill vacant positions left by members whose terms expired.
But the commission opted not to fill a position that prompted some controversial comments from Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell during the commission’s work session earlier this month.
In discussing the remaining vacancy on the aviation board, Postell expressed concern over the suggested appointment of Dr. Frank Middleton by the aviation commission, saying that he “would like to see a black replace (Eugene Jeter, who is African American).
Postell said he was concerned that adding Middleton, who is white, to the board would hinder the diversity of the board.
“I don’t want to see no Utopia where the board is all white males. ... It sounds like the good old boy system to me, and we need to end that,” Postell said.
At the work session, Postell said that one of his constituents, Henry Davis, had expressed interest in the position and was planning to submit a resume, but the deadline for applications had passed.
Tuesday, as the City Commission again considered an appointment to fill Jeter’s seat, Postell motioned to table discussion “until the Aviation Commission can review any new resumes or applicants and come back with a recommendation.”
Ward II Commissioner Ivey Hines seconded Postell’s motion, which then passed 4-3, with Mayor Pro-Tem and Ward V Commissioner Bob Langstaff, Ward IV Commissioner Roger Marietta and Ward III Commissioner Christopher Pike voting against the motion to table.