Mayor falls one vote short on crime director's position

Mayor Jim Wetherington fell one vote short on all proposals Tuesday to create an Office of Crime Prevention and a director to coordinate the programs.

“I don’t know where this program is going,” Wetherington said after a 5-4 vote on the director’s position. “I’m still passionate about getting it through.”

Columbus Council also considered ordinances to create a seven or 11-member board to help run the office but both proposals failed by the same margin.

Voting no for the crime director were Councilors Glen Davis, Berry “Skip” Henderson, Mike Baker and Evelyn Turner Pugh. Councilors Julius Hunter, Jerry “Pops” Barnes, Evelyn “Mimi” Woodson, Wayne Anthony and C.E. “Red” McDaniel supported the position. Councilor Gary Allen, who has won approval for changes in the duties of the crime director, was out of town on business.

The mayor needed at least six votes to win approval for the ordinance that would focus on preventing crime. Judy Thomas, the mayor’s executive assistant and who worked with the Mayor’s Commission on Crime Prevention, said they will probably meet today and consider when to bring the proposals back to council.