Posted: Thursday, September 12th 2013 at 12:20pm
Councilman Curtis Segars takes oath and goes to work
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE Ė The vacant Ward One seat on the Gainesville City Council was filled at the start of Thursdayís work session as longtime educator and community volunteer Curtis Segars raised his right hand and took the oath of office from City Clerk Denise Jordan.
Segars fills the vacancy created when Danny Dunagan resigned from the Council last August in order to run for Mayor.
The city charter had been changed, calling for the mayorís position to be an elected position. Mayorship had been rotated among council members before the change, and Dunagan was serving his turn as mayor when the new policy took effect.
Segars said regarding his nomination and subsequent unanimous approval to fill the four-month vacancy, "Gainesville has been very good to my family and this is an opportunity to serve."
He also joked that he soon after that was besieged by friends and neighbors to pull the necessary strings to get their pet-projects done. "A lot of them have a list of what they want done," Segars said with a chuckle.
Segars had been with the Gainesville City School System as an educator since 1963 before retiring in 1986 as principal of Gainesville High School. Following that he founded "Clearing House", a program designed to help young people addicted to drugs and alcohol, spent one term as Chairman of the Hall County Commission, served as a probation officer for the Juvenile Court, and worked at Riverside Military Academy.
And he was not hesitant to share his concerns at his first official Council meeting. The subject of the annual Mule Camp Market was on the agenda.
"I have a concern,' Segars said. 'Iíve noticed over the last several years a tremendous increase in people bringing their dogs."
"But Iíve never seen a person with a scoop or a bag. Iíd like to suggest that we go through the Government Channel and the news media and ask people not to bring their animals."
"I donít know why people do this. You bring an animal into an environment with a lot of people, a lot of noise. I look at this as a potential problem," Segars said.
Councilwoman Ruth Bruner understood Segarsí concern, adding, "The downtown is trying to be friendly to dogs in generalÖbut I think when you have a huge crowd itís different."
Catiel Felts, Director of Communications and Tourism, said that there are bags and stations located around the downtown area to provide for canine sanitation, but not everyone was aware of that fact.
It was agreed that staff would contact the Gainesville Jaycees, sponsors of Mule Camp Market, and share their concerns with event leaders.
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