George Poe was voted Monday as the new vice mayor of the Cleveland City Council, replacing Avery Johnson.
Councilman Johnson has been the vice mayor for the past 14 years and a member of the council for 20 years.
He said that, traditionally, the longest serving member of the council was given the title of vice mayor.
He said, "I just wonder why all of a sudden we're changing the rules now."
The motion to replace Councilman Johnson was made by Councilman Richard Banks.
Councilman Banks said his motion was no reflection on Councilman Johnson. He said he thought it was time to "pass the torch."
Councilman Banks said Councilman Poe also attended lots of ribbon-cuttings in Cleveland.
Councilman Johnson said, "I've done as much as anybody up here...I do what I do because I'm trying to do what's right. I don't have any political agenda; when you walk in here your agenda is my agenda."
The vote was close, with the motion passing four to three. Council members Poe, Dale Hughes, Banks and Charlie McKenzie voted for Councilman Poe and Councjl members Bill Estes, Johnson, and David May voted to keep Councilman Johnson. Mayor Tom Rowland did not vote.
Councilman Johnson said, "You can take away my title as vice mayor if you want to and that's fine...George is my friend and I don't have anything against Councilman Poe."
During the meeting, a possible ordinance to place restrictions on mobile food units was also discussed.
If passed, the units would have to be removed from premises between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. It was stated that the purpose of this is to ensure that wastes created by the food units are taken away.
Signs for the units would also have to be taken down during this time. A similar ordinance is already in effect in Chattanooga.
Mayor Rowland also discussed the upcoming joint meeting between the city council and the Bradley County Commission. A date has not yet been decided. At the meeting, the council and commission will each bring three topics to discuss.
Mayor Rowland echoed the sentiments of several county commissioners when he said he did not like the idea of limiting the discussion to three topics. He said he would rather have an open discussion.
Flood control and livability will be two of the topics.