Davis disappointed over P&Z reappointment

Nov. 29, 2012 @ 05:43 PM

High Point Planning & Zoning Commission member Cynthia Davis said she thinks she was the victim of a politically motivated move to keep her from being reappointed to the board.
Davis was appointed to the commission by City Councilman Mike Pugh to fill an unexpired term two-and-a-half years ago. Each of the nine council members is allowed to make one appointment to the commission. Pugh said he wanted to reappoint Davis and sought to have this done before her term expired July 1. He said he was told to wait until after the Nov. 6 election. Pugh, who lost his re-election bid to Judy Mendenhall, tried unsuccessfully to get the council to consider Davis’ reappointment at its Nov. 19 meeting.
“We did try to get her reappointed prior to the election. It was all because I had appointed her and her position on issues. It’s politics,” said Pugh. “Cynthia Davis is a great individual for that position. She turned that commission on its head and made them do their job. It’s the city’s loss if she’s not reappointed, because she really put her heart and soul into it and probably was more aggressive and educated in the implementation of her position than anyone on P&Z.”
Davis, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large council seat this year, said when she inquired about reappointment, she was told to continue to attend meetings and that it would be taken care of after the election. She said she thinks the reappointment was sabotaged in a concerted effort to get her off the commission. She has been a frequent critic of council, questioning aspects of the city’s budget.
“I think it was a personal, political move,” said Davis. “I learned a lot and felt like I served the community well.”
Mayor Becky Smothers, one of Davis’ opponents in the election, said there was no scheme to keep her from being reappointed. She said it’s common for commission members to serve past the date that their term expires. In such cases, they serve until they are replaced or reappointed by the council member who appointed them. Smothers said that Pugh had ample opportunity to bring Davis’ reappointment to the council prior to the Nov. 19 meeting.
“To my knowledge, Mike never said anything about it in front of the council until that day,” she said. “Regardless of what Mike did and who he talked to, he sits at the council table and he never uttered a word about it until the last time we met.”
Pugh will have one last chance to try to reappoint Davis on Monday before the new council is sworn in. The reappointment is on that day’s meeting agenda, which will be handled by the current council. The reappointment could be a longshot, however, because it only garnered three votes when Pugh brought it forth at the meeting on Nov. 19.
The new council will be sworn in after Monday’s meeting. At that point, it will be up to Mendenhall to make an appointment to the commission. Her nominee will be on the agenda for Thursday, the first meeting of the new council. 
Mendenhall said Davis approached her about being reappointed, but by then, she had already chosen another nominee, who she will ask the new council to confirm on Thursday.