The Leesville City Council voted unanimously Monday to appoint Robert B. Blow to the Leesville Civil Service Board. Blow is set to be sworn in today at 11 a.m.


The Leesville City Council voted unanimously Monday to appoint Robert B. Blow to the Leesville Civil Service Board. Blow is set to be sworn in today at 11 a.m. 
Blow, a volunteer with the Jubilee Park Committee, also hosts voter registrations for the citizens of Leesville. He is a graduate of Vernon Elementary, a student of Vernon High and a graduate of Leesville High School. The 27-year veteran is also a retiree of the Atlanta, Ga. Fire Department.
Blow takes the place of Joe Averhart who verbally resigned from his position as a member of the Leesville Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board in March.
Many of Averhart's absences from the board meetings have resulted in the board not having a quorum. According to Louisiana State Examiner Melinda Livingston, the board must have a quorum present before a meeting may be conducted.
The board is made up of five members, a police officer and a firefighter, each elected from his or her own ranks and then officially appointed by the mayor; one appointed outright by the mayor; and two others recommended from the community by the president of the nearest university, in this case, Randall Webb, president of Northwestern State University. Board members cannot be removed except by just cause, though they can voluntarily resign.
The Leesville City Council had passed a resolution at an earlier council meeting to seat three appointees to its civil service board after the terms of three positions had expired.?It was at that time that Webb recommended Joe Averhart and Dr. Christina Lord, while  the third recommendation,  Rev. James Gaither, was a returning board member.
Gaither had previously been named a member of the civil service board during the administration of Mayor Jim Shapkoff in order to fill an unfinished term, which lasted approximately two years. That term later expired during the administration of Mayor Betty Westerchill, who asked Gaither to remain on the board for another three-year term. Gaither is currently serving his third time on the board.
To be eligible for appointment or to serve as a member of the board, a person must be a resident of the area for which fire or police protection is provided for at least five years preceding the appointment and, at the time of the appointment, must be a qualified voter of the area served.
The board conducts hearings of disciplinary actions against fire and police officers within the city.