The Nelsonville City Council voted Monday to rescind the decision that removed Member Greg Smith, for the second time, only days after finding he was not a continuous resident.
The Athens Messenger reported last Wednesday that Nelsonville City Council had voted to find Smith not to be a continuous resident of Nelsonville, in a battle that has spanned the course of months and seen Smith playing a revolving door game with whether he is a part of the body or not.
The meeting last week was particularly explosive — featuring outbursts of anger from both sides — culminating with members condemning a “they’re dead” comment made by Smith at the conclusion of the meeting.
However, the vote to rescind that order was brief. The body assembled, authorized a contract with AT&T, and then quickly voted to rescind the previous order.
No comment was given on the move during the meeting, and city officials declined to comment prior to the meeting.
However, per the city charter, it appears City Council failed to properly provide 10 days notice for the second hearing for Smith by placing a notice in the paper of record (The Athens Messenger).
During Smith’s second hearing, his attorney Dan Klos argued this point extensively.
It is unclear what the next move for Nelsonville City Council is.
Smith has been at the center of multiple controversies in 2021, including an instance where he was censured by Nelsonville City Council for using insensitive language on his personal Facebook page.
Following growing Nelsonville Council concern as to where Smith actually resided, and an Athens Messenger article that established a connection between Smith and a Washington County woman, Nelsonville Council launched a hearing into his residency.
In February, Nelsonville Council determined he was not a continuous resident of Nelsonville and suspended him from Council, The Messenger reported. The body did not move to refill his position, as it promised to the Athens County Court of Common Pleas.
Smith suffered a series of legal rejections in appeal hearings in April before being reinstated to Nelsonville Council, including having requests for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction denied.