When tempers flare in city council meetings, it’s usually not over the mayor’s committee appointments.
But that usually routine matter not only drew the ire of one Lula city councilman Monday night, but the involvement of the city attorney.
Councilman Larry Shuler “felt that there were issues over things that transpired … that he was unhappy with,” said Robert “Lucky” Chandler, the city’s attorney.
“He had some comments he wanted to make and he did make those, that’s for sure.”
Shuler, who also serves as mayor pro tem, declined to comment Tuesday about the incident.
“I’d rather let it go at that,” he said.
Mayor Milton Turner, reached Tuesday evening, said the issue at hand was his decision to replace Shuler on the finance committee.
“It has got to be a learning experience (for council members),” Turner said. “When you’re not developing a budget, that’s a great time to be on the committee.”
Overall, he added, “I make committee appointments based on what I feel is best for the city.”
Shuler’s comments were so heated that Chandler intervened.
“I wanted to try to make sure that the discussion remained on point, that it didn’t creep out beyond the proper functions of council members and … comments made during a council setting,” he said.
“I don’t think anything (in the council discussion) got near over the line.”
Still, issuing a reminder about being civil was key.
“These people have to work together,” Chandler said. “They’ve got to continue to work together for the public good.”
Councilman Mordecai Wilson said Tuesday he doesn’t have a problem with being replaced on a committee.
“The mayor is right appointing whomever he wants to,” he said. “Whenever the mayor is exercising his right, that’s his right to do so, as far as I’m concerned.”
He said the council needs to put its energy toward more pressing issues, such as development creeping its way, especially up Ga. 365.
“We need to start thinking about future growth,” Wilson said.
The council’s next meeting is a retreat, where the group will discuss larger, big-picture issues.
The meeting is set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Lula City Hall, 6055 Main St.
“The intention of the work session is to establish short- and long-term goals,” including ones regarding economic development and future land use, City Manager Dennis Bergin said.