PHOTO: (Marla Jones | Southern Torch)
By Marla Jones, Reporter
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Full Videos Below) The Rainsville City Council met on Monday, May 7, 2018 for their regularly scheduled meeting.
The Council voted to abolish a resolution that required for open jobs within the city government to be posted for seven days internally and then externally for 14 days prior to the job being filled. Councilman Ricky Byrum moved to abolish the resolution and stated, “In the (employee) handbook, it gives the mayor the authority to hire someone until it comes to the city council and then the council must approve it or disapprove it. That’s the way I would like for it to be adjusted in the handbook.” In addition to the resolution 04-07-2014-1, there is another job posting resolution (05-04-2015) that incorporates requirements prior to city jobs being filled.
When asked whether this resolution would be abolished as well, Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt stated that he “didn’t realize that that was on there too” and it will, “probably have to be abolished” also. When asked why, as a Councilmember, Lingerfelt voted yes on the resolution in 2014 and then changed his position at Monday’s council meeting, he replied, “I didn’t. I didn’t vote for it or against it.” Lingerfelt, as mayor, chairs the city council meetings which chooses to govern their meetings by Robert’s Rules of Order. On Monday night, Lingerfelt did not voice his objection or his intention to abstain from the vote on abolishing the resolution. Under Robert’s Rules of Order, when the chair calls for a vote, the chair is presumed to vote in the affirmative unless the chair voices his objection or his intention to abstain from the vote. Lingerfelt remained silent meaning his vote would officially be recorded in the affirmative or in support of the motions made.
When asked about the proposal in 2014, Lingerfelt stated, “I really don’t know who brought it up. Some people want more control, others want less. The council brought up to abolish this. I did not bring it up.” Minutes from that 2014 meeting reveal that former Councilmembers Joey Graham and Melissa Ledbetter led the effort to enact the change in hiring procedures.
Councilmember Byrum stated, “No, we just [did] away with the seven day waiting period.” When asked about why the resolution was passed in the first place, he said, “I can’t answer because I don’t know who [did] that, because I wasn’t there. We have people that come in and need jobs and can’t wait 14 days.”
Under the Code of Alabama, section 11-43-81, as well as a 2011 Alabama Supreme Court case, Scott v. Coachman, mayors in Alabama possess the authority to hire city employees who have not been designated as officers of the municipality by the city council.
In other business, Chuck Chitwood with CDG Engineering updated the Council on the Chavies Bridge Project. Chitwood stated that bidding process would start on June 28 and the project would start in late September to early October with an estimated completion date of sometime in April 2019.
Ann Jones, a local business owner, addressed the Council on the need for the parking spaces to be striped in the front of her business. Jones stated that since the new paving project in the downtown area had been completed, she did not have designated stripped parking places. Jones said she felt this was unsafe for her customers. Project Manager with the Alabama Department of Transportation and Councilmember Bejan Taheri stated that these spaces would be stripped for her before the end of the week.
The Council took the following measures in the meeting:
- Approved a $500 donation to the county DARE program
- Approved a resolution allowing the surplus of various City Hall office supplies
- Approved a drainage pipe for the TBEC for a cost of $1,500.00
- Hired Tharis Chavez and Samantha Galloway for summer part-time work at the Library
- Approved work to be completed on Ranch Road for a cost of $1,800
- Approved ladder and hose testing for the fire department for a cost of $3,000.
- Accepted the resignation of firefighter Coty Roberts and will post the job opening internally for seven days
- Approved the posting of (2) jobs internally for seven days at the police department
- Approved the opening of a donation account for the fire department at First Southern State Bank
Following the regular business, the Council and Mayor went into executive session to discuss the good name and character of a city employee. After approximately twenty minutes, the Council exited the executive session and voted 4-1 to terminate the employment of patrolmen Chris Kerby.
Rainsville City Council Workshop - May 7, 2018
Rainsville City Council Meeting - May 7, 2018
The next Rainsville Council meeting will be on May 21, 2018. Work session will begin at 4:15 and meeting at 5:00 p.m.
UPDATE: At press time yesterday, we received a notice from Rainsville City Hall about a special session on Thursday, May 10 at 4pm to reinstate Police Officer Chris Kerby and set a due process for him.