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Tensions rise amongst Camilla residents, city council

Frustrated Camilla residents during a Thursday night meeting at city hall./ Jazmyne Hankerson

The attitude of frustrated Camilla residents was wrapped up into one chant on Thursday night.

"City Hall now is the time to represent or resign," said a room full of Camilla residents.

Rufus Davis, the new Mayor of Camilla, had the support of most citizens who filled the city hall at Thursday night's meeting.

The frustration was from the empty seats of city council members who chose not to show up to the meeting.

"They said they didn't see a need. They didn't see a need to come tonight. They don't care about my concerns," said Camilla resident Gywneth Thomas.

Mayor Davis was just sworn in on Tuesday and is just the second African-American mayor in this city. This week tensions have grown to the level that a councilmen allegedly called Mayor Davis out of his name. Davis called Thursday's meeting to give citizens a voice. But only one council woman attended while the others chose to boycott.

Now Davis and other citizens called to question the priorities of the city council.

"The city is not ran to represent the people it's ran to represent the chosen ones," said Thomas.

Residents also called for diversity. Davis says 70% of the city is black but there are no black police officers and only 2 black city hall employees.

But they all maintain that this is not simply a race issue.

"This is not a black or white issue it's a right issue and there are blacks and whites who are in this cause," said Davis.

Residents said if they don't see changes from the council they'll look to see how they can fill those seats with people who care.

But as for now they hope to see things shift.

"On the water tower going out of town it says growing together towards tomorrow. we need to follow that slogan because right not we're not," said Camilla resident Jeanette Goree.

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