Last Tuesday’s city council meeting had a new face on the dais.
Douglas Summerlin, newly appointed assistant city attorney, sat in on his first city council meeting among the elected representatives and staff of the City of Eunice.
He said his pro bono work for the city was a welcome appointment and one that required “donated time to the city”.
“It was nice to be there and to see our city working from that end and how the elected representatives work for us.” he said.
He said that, from having attended many council meetings in the past, being on the dais was different.
“I’m a bit limited right now, with no tasks before me, but I am there to help the city in any way that I can and as the mayor and council see fit.” he said.
The council meeting was also a first for another city official.
Summerlin filled a seat traditionally assigned to the police chief at council meetings.
Ronald Dies, who for the first time as chief of police, was not seated on the dais, said that he was asked by Mayor Claud Moody to move from the platform seating and to a table in front of the council.
Moody said that the new assistant city attorney has been seated in his rightful place.
“The Chief (Dies) is an elected official but he is not legislative, executive, nor judicial. He’s an enforcer, so he can’t participate and contribute to discussions of city business,” Moody said. “That’s why when got a chance to get a free, assistant city attorney...the chief was asked to move to his former place.”
Moody said that the police chief is not required to be present at any city council meeting.
“The chief doesn’t have to speak at all. He was sitting up there with the council and no one objected because we didn’t have another attorney,” he said. “Now that we’ve got one, I’m not going to put (Summerlin) sitting at the table.”
Dies and Fire Chief Michael Arnold sat at the table.