WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Councilwoman Carolyn Robbins, according to Mayor Randy Toms, hasn't been at a Warner Robins city council meeting in months.
"I think (since) September," said Toms.
The reason for the absence? We asked him if it was a medical issue: Toms said "that's my understanding."
And some people, he says, are now asking about removing her from office since she hasn't been to work in so long.
So is that possible? Does Warner Robins have a policy for removing elected officials who don't show up?
"Some cities throughout the state of Georgia have ordinances or policies or something in writing along those lines," said Toms. "We just don't."
So there's no way to remove an elected official for an extended absence using Warner Robins city code.
But what about Georgia state law?
"There are some provisions of Title 45 that speak to vacancies of office," said Warner Robins City Attorney Jim Elliott in a phone interview.
According to Elliott, Georgia code says a court can be be asked to determine whether an elected official can remain in office during an extended absence (among other circumstances), and he says anybody who lives in Warner Robins could ask the court to make that call.
"I believe any elector of the city would have standing," he said.
So far though, he says as far as he knows nobody's gone that far.
"I'm not aware of any such effort," he said.
As for Mayor Toms, he says he and the rest of council hope Robbins returns to work.
"We just want her to get better and come back," he said."I don't think it's our desire to remove her from office, but I certainly understand the concern of the citizens that they want that representation there."
Councilwoman Robbins' husband Tony Robbins answered a phone call to her mobile number earlier Monday. He said she was unavailable, but did say she aims to return to work. He did not say when.
A later call to her number for more details went unanswered.
Mayor Toms also noted that Robbins serves in a citywide post as opposed to representing just one district.
He said that means even though she hasn't been on the job recently, her constituents have still been getting the attention of city leaders.
Jim Elliott added that, to his knowledge, Georgia code does not allow someone to temporarily fill an elected official's vacant seat until they return to work.