STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
COTTONWOOD SHORES — Two members have resigned from the Cottonwood Shores City Council after “contentious” regular meetings and disagreement on the draft of a police department drug dog policy, officials said.
Initially, three councilmen — Anthony Satsky, Steven Sherry, and Roger Wayson — submitted resignation letters to City Hall on Oct. 24; however, Wayson rescinded his resignation prior to the next regular meeting two days later.
Mayor Donald Orr said he and the councilmen sparred over the proposed context of a police department drug dog policy.
“It had to do with how much the council can control with regard to day-to-day operations,” Orr said. “There’s always a little bit of a jousting situation that goes along between a council and how to handle the day-to-day operations of a city.”
Sherry disagreed with the mayor’s assessment, adding he believed the council was “steamrolled” by the mayor on creating city policy.
“On this one particular issue, it was conflated with the drug dog subject,” Sherry said. “The issue is whether the council has the power to write policy.
“Our own ordinances indicate that is the council purview,” Sherry added.
Orr is credited with convincing the third member, Wayson, to rescind his resignation.
“It would have been a real issue if Dr. Wayson wouldn’t have rescinded his resignation,” Orr said. “He did rescind it for the sake of the city.”
Without a quorum, a set of restrictions governed by the state would have been imposed on city operations until the May election to seat a new council.
Sherry had served on the council for 6½ years prior to his resignation, which he said is directly related to “the imposition of a SOP (standard operating procedure) written by the mayor for the drug dog.”
“It’s the council’s purview to write policy for the city,” he said. “When it’s just obvious you’re not going to make progress in an area then why bother.”
For now, the council can operate with a quorum of remaining council members: Bridget Thomas, Cheri Trinidad, and Wayson.
“The council is still here. We’re still functioning, doing everything the council wants us to do,” Orr said. “We’re in good shape, doing good work for the citizens.”
The city is expected to call for a May election to fill the remaining positions.
“I didn’t feel like I was being effective anymore,” Sherry said. “A quorum was saved, so they can carry on.”
City staff are expected to post the agenda at City Hall each Monday in anticipation of a potentially scheduled Thursday meeting.