Rainsville sorts out election duties
July 7, 2016
Southern Torch (3431 articles)
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Rainsville sorts out election duties

By Tyler Pruett

tyler@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — The Rainsville City Council met on Tuesday, July 5 in lieu of their regularly scheduled meeting falling on the July Fourth holiday. Key topics of discussion were the assignment of election duties among the city, renovations to the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center (TBEC), and purchases for the Rainsville Police Department.

During the workshop, Councilman Joey Graham proposed a motion to appoint Councilman David Holt and Michelle Ledbetter to manage duties normally carried out by the mayor in the upcoming municipal elections.

“Duties are only specified to the mayor during elections if the mayor is not running for reelection. Since the mayor is running for reelection, I want to appoint David Holt and Michelle Ledbetter to fulfill these duties since they are not up for election,” said Councilman Graham.

“I think the statute calls for like a disinterested person,” Mayor Nick Jones said.

“It would have the appearance that someone doing these duties wouldn’t be impartial.” Jones said, “Is this something the city clerk could do?”

“Well neither of us are running (for reelection),” Ledbetter said.

“But you are in office now,” replied Jones.

While explaining the duties that herself and Holt would be responsible for, Ledbetter focused on ensuring all registered voters in the upcoming municipal elections reside within the Rainsville city limits.

“I think the biggest job to do is making sure whoever is registered to vote lives within the city limits of Rainsville,” Ledbetter explained.

Ledbetter then made the claim that in the previous election, votes were cast by those who do not reside in the City of Rainsville.

“There are several that have came up to my husband specifically that do not live in these city limits that voted last election,” Ledbetter said.

“That will not happen this election,” said Ledbetter.

Ledbetter seemed to use the matter to bring forward the issue of Rainsville residents being registered at their home address for voting, but residing elsewhere.

“I would prefer someone who’s not an elected official,” Jones replied, “We’ll have to also appoint an election manager because I can’t do that, I’ll be running,” Jones said.

The council and the mayor came to agreement that the City Clerk, Kelly Frazier would assume the role as election manager, since she was deemed a “disinterested party,” and would take on all administrative duties of the coming municipal elections.

Councilman Graham also took the chance during the workshop to point out the financial gains for the city under the current administration. According to Graham, city revenue for the last eight months exceeds the previous year, which was the best financial year on record.

“Employee cost are also down by $31,000 during the first eight months of this year. So we’re looking at taking in more revenue at less cost,” Graham said.

The city saved $31,000 in employee’s salaries earlier in the year when the council agreed with Mayor Jones to eliminate two positions in the street department that were being left vacant by a retirement and a resignation. The decision was then made to hire a private company to conduct lawn maintenance on city property; saving the city money.

The regular meeting was then called to order with Councilmen Graham, Freeman, Lingerfelt, and Ledbetter in attendance with Mayor Nick Jones presiding.

Councilman Freeman would begin the meeting by making the motion to purchase a new patrol vehicle for the police department. The council approved the purchase in the amount of $37,140 for a white Chevrolet patrol truck from Donohoo Chevrolet. Chief Stewart would also receive authorization in the sum of $1,000 to purchase new printers in a motion by Ledbetter.

Also in motions by Ledbetter, the TBEC will be receiving renovations to both bathrooms thanks to the acceptance of a bid by Jimmy Traylor Construction in the sum of $33,250. A bid of $4,800 was also accepted with Jimmy Traylor Construction to replace the aging front doors of the TBEC.

Councilman Graham made a motion on the appointment of an election manager, which was previously discussed in the workshop. The council approved Kelly Frazier, City Clerk, to serve as the election manager in place of Mayor Jones.

The council also approved to sponsor the Rainsville seven and eight year old baseball all star team in the sum of $750.00. The team will be traveling to the state tournament and will need help with travel expenses.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on Monday, July 18 with the workshop beginning at 5 p.m.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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