VIDEO: Council in Quandary

VIDEO: Council in Quandary


By Marla Jones, Reporter •

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Full Video Below) Resolution 04-21-2014 was a hotly debated subject during this week’s regular meeting of the Rainsville City Council.

After Councilmember Bejan Taheri reported the cost of the new retainer wall at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center was $1,785, Councilmember Marshall Stiefel asked whether the cost was, “For materials only?”

Taheri replied that it was an in-house project and that the total costs of material was $1,785.

Stiefel followed up, “so you are admitting that you broke the resolution 04-21-2014?” Taheri suggested that it should be changed. He then made a motion to rescind the resolution that had been put in place during the City’s previous administration.

The final paragraph of the resolution reads as follows:

“NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the City Council of Rainsville, Alabama, that the spending limits for non-council approved items to be as follows: The Mayor and all Councilmembers are now authorized to approve the spending of City funds for items pertaining to the City in amounts of $750.00 and less.

Approved this 21st of April, 2014”

In the initial approval of this resolution, the motion was made by former Councilmember Joey Graham and seconded by former Councilmember Melissa Ledbetter. Those voting in favor were Graham, Ledbetter, Councilmember Brandon Freeman, and then-councilmember, now-Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt.

Stiefel stated that voting to repeal this resolution would put the Mayor and Councilmember Freeman in a quandary. A heated discussion between Freeman and Stiefel followed by Freeman asking Stiefel if he even knew what the word “quandary” meant. 

Councilmember Ricky Byrum suggested a way to get around the resolution was to allow the Mayor and two of the councilmen to spend their $750 each. Stiefel said he believed that that was simply a way to circumvent the (Open Meetings Act) law.

The recension of the resolution was left on the table and will be discussed at a later date. We reached out to Councilmember Marshall Stiefel and he had this to say:

“I think the resolution is too confining. I do believe the amount in the resolution should be revised. We never voted on this wall that had a cost of over $750, and that clearly violates the resolution that is currently a law within the City of Rainsville. This Council must learn to play by the rules.”

This is the second resolution that was passed in the last administration that is subject to change. The other resolution discussed and ultimately repealed was the job posting resolution that required all city jobs to be publicly posted prior to filling the job.

In other business, the Council approved the following:

• Meth Mountain Interruption event sponsorship of $750

• Announced Cornerstone Christian Academy to begin its six-man football season at the Field of Dreams

• Announced George Wallace bridge will be open for travel in approximately four weeks

• Approved installation of culvert on Parker Avenue at cost of $3,400

• Granted Mayor Lingerfelt the authority to sign ADECA grant for the new sewer project on Highway 35/Scott Street

• Set the date for the Rainsville Christmas Parade for December 1 at 12pm

The next regular meeting of the Rainsville City Council is scheduled to be held on Monday, September 3 (Labor Day) with a work session at 4:15pm and the meeting at 5pm. Southern Torch will update on whether or not the meeting date will change due to the holiday.