Resolution to change city’s rules

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 15, 2005

If a resolution City Attorney Jimmy Nunn was asked to draft at Monday night’s City Council passes, then council members will have to submit written questions to the council before they can be given to Mayor James Perkins Jr. to give to the city’s department heads.

The resolution, introduced by councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, came in response to councilman Cecil Williamson.

Williamson apparently submitted a list of questions to a department head without going through the mayor’s office, as current protocol stipulates.

Email newsletter signup

However, if passed, the new resolution would require the questions to be submitted to the council, along with the reasons why they are being asked.

“The effect of this would be any citizen could walk in off the street and get this information from a department head- it’s public information- but members of council can’t get it,” Williamson said. “That really is absurd and Mr. President I will find out how the money is being spent one way or another.”

Perkins left the meeting briefly to attend another meeting, but his assistant Sherri James clarified his position in the memo.

“A department head is supposed to give council members information back in writing, if the request is submitted through the mayor’s office,” James said. “That’s procedure.”

President George Evans originally ruled Crenshaw’s motion out of order because it came during Jimmy Nunn’s report but was not an agenda item.

Crenshaw countered saying it was appropriate because it came during Nunn’s report and she was making a specific request of Nunn.

She then asked the council to vote to overrule the Chair.

“I would like to appeal to the council to see if that was something they would like to entertain,” Crenshaw said.

They council did overrule Evans in a 5-4 vote with councilmen Evans, Williamson, Reid Cain and councilwoman Jean Martin voting not to overrule.

Once it was determined to go ahead with Crenshaw’s request, discussion opened on the merits of the suggestion.

“I think we’re putting ourselves in a real box,” Evans said.

“I think this will just intensify my efforts,” Williamson said.

Leashore responded by saying Williamson makes veiled comments that something wrong is going on and he should just come out and say it on the record.

“He needs to go on record that he thinks things are not kosher,” he said.

In other news the council:

Voted to approve an expenditure of $2,000 to repair storm damage to graves in Elmwood Cemetery.

Approved a pay increase for interim Police Chief Jimmy Martin from $40,000 to $43,000 for as long as he serves as interim chief.

Approved the removal of a security position in the recreation department. The position will be vacated by retirement and not refilled.

Put on first reading a liquor license request from the Blue Note club.

Approved a change in job titles in the tax and license department and county clerk’s office.

Selected Lewis Fincher to sit on the board of Cahaba Center.

Approved a resolution opposing a state bill that would open every waterway in the state for free salvage and recovery use.

Locally, it would mean that outside companies could recover artifacts from Dallas County and the Alabama River and sell them at no benefit to the local area. Editor’s Note: For more on this story, see tomorrow’s Times-Journal.

Approved a series of ordinances allowing the city to move forward with the curbside trash pickup plan outlined in the city budget. Editor’s Note: For more on this story, see tomorrow’s Times-Journal.

Approved the Morris Agency as the provider for the city’s Municipal Worker Compensation Fund.

Heard from Tina Price on the possibility of a transportation system bill from Washington D.C.

Approved a contract to provide for the replacement of the rec league’s stadium light bulb’

Approved an ordinance giving proceeds from the lodging tax to an account called Economic Development/Tourism Promotion Fund, in keeping with the city’s shift of tourism duties to the Centre of Commerce.

Removed from first reading and ordinance to eliminate the tourism advisory board, which means the advisory board, will stay.

Voted to condemn 11 pieces of property.

Approved a public buildings contract, which will streamline the way citizens can reserve public facilities such as the Performing Arts Centre.

Received assurances from Mayor James Perkins Jr. that the council will receive regular updates from the SPD on Noise Ordinance violations.

“I think every time we have a council meeting, we always talk about it but nothing ever gets done,” councilwoman Jannie Venter said. “If we’re not going to do anything about it, we might as well take the law off the books.”

Reminded citizens about the Semi-Annual forum tonight at 6 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

Heard from Sweep Selma Clean representative Dr. Park Chittom.

Approved Robert Walker’s request to allow Gateway Baptist Church to do their annual Easter Walk.

Heard from Karl Lewis about neighborhood concerns in the Riverside area of Old Town.

Heard from Eric Rose with concerns about the local hospital.

Editor’s Note: Due to the meeting ending time. The Times-Journal is unable to provide full details of Monday night’s meeting in Tuesday’s paper.

See tomorrow’s Times-Journal for continuing coverage.