Tensions Rise at Rainsville Council Meeting

Tensions Rise at Rainsville Council Meeting

By Marla Jones, Managing Editor • marla@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Full Video Below) The Rainsville City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 4. 

The agenda was brief with only three items to discuss. Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt reported two changes that needed to be made in personnel.

The first being the placement of Brad Willingham as Interim Director at the Waste Water Treatment Plant effective on December 23, 2020. 

The second change in personnel caused an intense debate between the Mayor and Councilmember Bejan Taheri.

Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt asked to place Jimmy Brooks as Interim Public Works Director effective January 18 for the retiring Rickey Dobbins. 

“About this Jimmy Brooks, what does interim mean?” asked Taheri.

“That just means he will be in charge until we settle on a person,” replied Lingerfelt.

“Are you going to raise his pay? Well, I’m not for that. How much is the difference?” Taheri continued. 

Lingerfelt replied that the cost would be around $3,000 to 4,000 per year when Councilmember Ricky Bryum interjected, “that’s a promotion, ain’t it Mayor?” 

Taheri stated, “That’s a promotion and I’m not for it...He can do the job but I’m not for paying him.”

“Is that the way you do with your job?” asked Lingerfelt.

“Yeah, if he don’t deserve it, he don’t get it,” Taheri replied.

“So you’re saying he don’t deserve it?” Lingerfelt said, to which Taheri stated, “No sir.”

When Councilmember Derek Rosson asked for more discussion on the issue, Councilmember Brandon Freeman stated, “We’ve got a Councilman that doesn’t like him so he’s not going to support him, so he’s voting no.”

In other business, the Council:

  • Approved a filtered water system through Five Star Food Services for City Hall, Library, Fire and Police departments, and the Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Gave the Mayor the authority to obtain financing for their fleet program

The Council went in to executive session for 42 minutes to discuss the good name and character of a city employee. Upon returning, the Council placed Jimmy Brooks as the interim Public Works Director to replace the retiring Ricky Dobbins, and accepted the resignation of Allen Stiefel as Director of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The next meeting of the Rainsville City Council will be held on Monday, January 18 at 4:30 p.m. with a work session at 4 p.m.

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