Fort Payne makes new DC Gas Board Appointments (VIDEO)
November 29, 2016
Southern Torch (3845 articles)

Fort Payne makes new DC Gas Board Appointments (VIDEO)

PHOTO: The City of Fort Payne named it’s new appointees to the DeKalb-Cherokee Gas Board at a Special Called meeting held at noon today, November 29. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch) 

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Video of the meeting below) In a Special Called meeting held today, Fort Payne announced it’s new appointees to the DeKalb – Cherokee Gas Board (DC Gas Board). Applications were accepted through November 14 until 4:00 pm. The new appointees to the six positions are as follows (16:16):

Steve Eberhart (Nominated by Red Taylor)

Brandi Lyles (Nominated by Lynn Brewer)

Councilwoman Lynn Brewer (Nominated by Johnny Eberhart) 

Steve Parker (Nominated by Wade Hill)

Councilman Johnny Eberhart (Nominated by Lynn Brewer)

Phillip Smith (Nominated by Red Taylor) 

Watch the full video of the Special Meeting:

Twenty four people in total applied for positions to the board. Those who applied and did not receive positions were: Councilman Brian Baine, Mayor Larry Chesser, Former Councilman Randall Ham, Former Councilman Richard Pridmore, Randy Broyles, Bob Chisenhall, Tim Dobson, Pat Dunne, Connie Fuller, Mike Griggs, Rita Shirley Hamilton, Tim Hawkins, Jonathan Henderson, Roger Ingle, Bobby Jones, Sharon Jones, Randy Moses, and Scotty Vaughn.

The nine-member board is selected from the cities in which the gas board services. Six of those assignments come from the City of Fort Payne. Shortly before the run-off election on October 6, controversy arose after Dale Jackson submitted a letter to media outlets, including the Southern Torch, questioning why elected officials served on a board that they themselves appoint. Board members receive $1000 pay each month from DC Gas. The letter can be read here.

(20:31) “First of all I am disappointed in this vote, primarily because this takes the mayor off the board for the first time in over thirty years,” said Mayor Chesser.

“Normally, the Mayors of Centre, Collinsville, and Fort Payne have served on the board. Usually the Fort Payne mayor serves as the president. I did not last time, because Walter Watson wanted it, and he’s done a good job….. he’s done a tremendous job,” Chesser said.

“It’s your authority, and your call, and I respect that. I definitely respect the people that’s been elected. I think that everyone had a different opinion on this, or at least different than me,” said Chesser.

“It has nothing to do with money, or whatever, it’s just a tradition that has been there that’s not there any longer,” said Chesser. “That may be for good or may be for bad, I don’t know. I’m trying to take this in a positive manner, and I hope that I can. Because we’ve got work together if we want to accomplish anything.”

“I would hope that we can come closer together. I know how the previous council and I worked together and we did very well,” added Chesser.

“This is not a knock on Larry, he’s done a great job, I look forward to working with you, but I just think personally this is the direction we need to go,” said Councilman Wade Hill.

“We’re going to take care of business and move forward,” added Hill.

At the end of the meeting when the floor was opened for comments from the public, Former Councilman Randall Ham, who was left off of the board appointment, made his dissatisfaction known with the new appointments (28:02).

“I’m going to agree with Larry, I think you have done the (DeKalb-Cherokee) Gas District a disservice by what you’ve done,” Ham said.

“I’m fine with not being reappointed; that’s fine. But to flip that many members of the board….. The gas district is a complex board, it takes a lot to understand it, it takes a lot to get up to speed, and I think you’ve done the gas district a disservice not only in that, but not placing the mayor back in the place he should have been,” said Ham.

“Well I believe there are nine members of the board. So I believe there will be five old members back on their, and four new ones. So the majority will be experienced members,” answered Councilman Red Taylor.

“They don’t always work together, and sometimes the communities don’t agree, and it’s important to have strong members from Fort Payne. And we have strong members, but experience makes a difference. You’ve not been there so you don’t know,” replied Ham.

“Well you’re exactly right, I haven’t been on the gas board,” Taylor replied, “I know that 5 members with experience as far as the customers go, and that’s who the company needs to be looking out for.”

Mayor Chesser’s wife, Donna Chesser, also addressed the council (29:16). 

“I’d just like to say that I’m very disappointed as well. I think my husband has served the city very well for the past four years, he’s only been in the city for the last four years, and you’re talking about term limits. He’s not running again. This is it,” Mrs. Chesser said.

“For you not putting him on the board, it sets a bad image for you and your ability to work with the mayor for the betterment of the city,” added Mrs. Chesser.

“We’re going to make Fort Payne the best that Fort Payne possibly can be,” replied Brian Baine.

“Will we make mistakes? Yes. But we are going to do the best we possibly can as a group,” added Baine.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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