August 11, 2016
Southern Torch (3614 articles)

Candidates for Rainsville Council Place 2 trade jabs

Candidates for Rainsville City Council Place 2, D.L. Stiefel (left) and Bejan Taheri (right) traded jabs at Monday night's forum. (Photos by Tyler Pruett)

Candidates for Rainsville City Council Place 2, D.L. Stiefel (left) and Bejan Taheri (right) traded jabs at Monday night’s forum. (Photos by Tyler Pruett)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — Last Monday night, candidates for Rainsville City Council Place 2, D.L. Stiefel and former-councilman Bejan Taheri traded jabs at the WVSM Radio forum for municipal candidates.

The point of contention was Taheri’s claim that he first made in Times-Journal’s forum held a couple of weeks ago. The candidate claimed that if elected to the city council, he’ll be able to handle the city’s engineering needs when it comes to road upkeep and maintenance; saving the city money.

In a meet and greet last Thursday night, D.L. Stiefel first countered this claim while speaking to supporters at YoMoe’s.

“The highway thing I’ve taken a look at, based on comments at the (Times-Journal) forum,” D.L. said, “there’s things a licensed engineer can do that just an engineer can’t do. You must be a licensed engineer to prepare the specifications.”

“It doesn’t require an engineer, it requires a licensed engineer,” D.L. added. 

WVSM Radio and Mountain Valley News moderated the event. (Photo by Tyler Pruett)

WVSM Radio and Mountain Valley News moderated the event. (Photo by Tyler Pruett)

In Monday night’s forum, Taheri began his comments with discussing infrastructure, much like the previous forum.

“Roads, Roads, and Roads,” Taheri reiterated when discussing what issues were most important to each candidate.

“If you elect me, I promise you, and it depends on how much money the mayor will let me have,” Taheri claimed, “plus the money that we’re saving because of the engineering costs, I promise we’ll pave your street.”

Immediately following this comment, D.L. was given the chance to respond to the same question posed to Taheri.

“I’m not a civil engineer, but the law in Alabama requires that in order for a civil engineer to submit bids and draw up specifications, you have to have a license,” D.L. said.

“If you do not have a license and you do that the city incurs, we the citizens incur, tremendous liability. I don’t think we want to go down that path. Anytime my opponent talks about doing that work, we had to pay a licensed civil engineer to come in behind him,” said D.L.

At the end of the forum when candidates were given a chance to make closing comments, Taheri returned the jab.

“I feel like this is a job interview. That is something I’ve never done,” Taheri said, “I worked for the state for thirty-seven years, So I feel like now you interview me for this job.”

“Just look at both of us, and look at what we’ve done for this town in past forty years, and my opponent has never brought anything to this town that I can put a finger on and say, ‘good job,’” said Taheri.

D.L., who was named 2016 Rainsville Person of the Year and is current chairman of the industrial development board, pointed out that while Taheri was serving his last year on the Rainsville City Council in 2012, he helped take action that violates the state’s constitution in his opinion.

“In 2012, the Rainsville City Council, and my opponent was part of that 2012 city council, Rainsville decided to pass gun free zones in the city,” D.L. said, “That bothers me on a couple of levels.”

“One is because I believe in the Second Amendment very strongly, and I just find it crazy that people would do away with guns, I know there are places that they are not needed and you have to be responsible,” said D.L.

“But the other part is that the constitution is being violated. Cities don’t have the right in Alabama to establish gun free zones.” D.L. added.

“If you elect me, I promise I’ll do the same thing I did (when elected) eight years ago,” Taheri said in Monday night’s forum.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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