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Buckley council addresses member's ongoing absence
The initial Buckley City Council meeting of the year had nothing on the main agenda, but there were a couple of pressing housekeeping issues to be acted upon.
First, Mayor Pat Johnson performed a swearing-in ceremony for new council members Norm Irons, Brian Howard and Milt Tremblay, along with James Montgomery, who ran unopposed for a two-year term.
On a serious note, the council address the ongoing absence of Councilman Randy Reed; facing legal charges, he had been given a 90-day excused leave of absence, which expired in the middle of December. The council debated whether his failure to show up for the Jan. 10 council meeting constituted an unexcused absence.
Tremblay asked if Reed had contacted anyone with an explanation of his whereabouts. Both Johnson and City Administrator Dave Schmidt said he had not.
Montgomery expressed a concern that the council had been a member short for the three months and noted the group’s patience was waning.
“Very soon we as council members are going to have a lot on our plates,” Montgomery said, “and I am of the opinion that a full council of seven is a necessary requirement toward accomplishing these obligations and duties.”
The council vote to oust Reed, an 18-year veteran of the council, if he has two more consecutive, unexcused absences.
Being the council member with the most seniority, Reed had been the acting mayor pro tem. In the event Reed is removed due to absences, the next in line, from a seniority standpoint, is Christy Boyle-Barrett. She was elected Jan. 10 as the new mayor pro-teem, should Reed be dismissed.
In the fall of 2011 Reed, 54, was charged by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office with first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation. He was arraigned nearly a month later and will have his day in court in mid-February.
He has not returned numerous phone calls seeking comment.