By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher
The Eutaw City Council met for its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 22 and decided to give all city employees a five per cent (5%) raise and to raise some selected employees by more.
They also agreed to support hosting the 40th anniversary meeting of the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors’ on June 8, 2012 by providing use of the National Guard Armory building for the meeting and gala that evening.
After an executive session, the Mayor and Council, less Ralph Liverman, who was absent, approved an across-the-board raise of 5% for all employees. The following employees were awarded 10% raises based on longevity of service and acquired skills: Wilma Wedgeworth, Jesse Whitehead, Thomas Smith, Charles Edwards, Doug Smith and Linda Spencer. Samuel Braggs was increased to $13.50 per hour. The Mayor and David Spencer voted against this motion; Councilmembers Powell, Edwards and Smith voted in favor.
In the public discussion period, Larry Sanford, Supervisor of Street Employees voiced concern that Jesse Lawson, a city employee with a CDL license, who can operate most city equipment and was the spokesperson for the city employees strike, was not awarded a merit or step raise. “Your decisions are going to cause me a lot of problems,” said Sanford.
Iris Sermon presented a report on the 40th anniversary of the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors (ACBM) meeting to be held in Eutaw, the second Friday in June. The meeting will bring 50 Black mayors from large cities and small towns around Alabama and other governmental guests to Eutaw for a full day of meetings and activities.
The meeting and luncheon during the day will be held at the LAW Center and a Black Tie Dinner is proposed to be held at the Old National Guard Armory in Eutaw that night. The dinner is to honor the founders of the ACBM – Johnny Ford of Tuskegee and A. J. Cooper of Pritchard, Alabama.
Ms. Sermon pointed out the many benefits to the City of Eutaw and Greene County of hosting this important meeting of mayors. She stated that she and Beverly Gordon, her co-chair, were raising money from local businesses and organizations, to support the event. They were also going to be selling tickets to the public for the Black Tie Affair and Dinner.
She also pointed out that the National Guard Armory lacks air conditioning and that some temporary plan was needed to provide cooling for the comfort of the guests. Mayor Steele said that a portion of the space could be air cooled for around $15,000.
The full Council and Mayor were in favor of hosting the ACBM meeting in Eutaw. The Council voted to approve an expenditure of up to $15,000 for air conditioning for the Armory before June 8. This motion was passed 3 to 2 with the Mayor, Powell and Edwards voting in favor and Spencer and Smith voting against.
The Council approved an ordinance to sell two acres of land for $5,000 on Choctaw Road for a cemetery for New Peace Baptist Church. The vote was 3 for, 1 against and one abstention. Council member Joe Powell abstained because he is a member of the church.
Council members Edwards, Spencer and Smith voted in favor. Mayor Steele voted against the ordinance.
Mayor Steele said, “I am in favor of a cemetery for the church but not on prime industrial land that we need to attract industry to the city. I told Rev. Griffin that we could provide an alternate location to Choctaw Road that would be more appropriate for the cemetery.”
City Attorney Mike Smith stated that four votes were needed to pass the ordinance. It was not passed and will have to be brought up again for a vote at the next meeting.
In other business, the Council:
- approved a motion to create an Airport Authority Board of seven members to manage and administer the airport for the City;
- approved travel for Linda Spencer to attend the Alabama Criminal Justice Conference in Gulf Shores; travel for officers Denton Ferrell and Walter Beck to attend undercover police training;
- approved use of the bus for RSVP for a trip to Tuscaloosa;
- approved an expenditure of $11,500 to replace a traffic signal cabinet at City Hall, to control the traffic light, after a power surge rendered the current box inoperable and the Alabama Power and DOT insurance would not cover the cost;
- ratified contract (signed by Mayor-Pro Tem Hattie Edwards) and approved payment of $9,051.03 to Perry County Commission for repair of the roads in Branch Heights and King Village; Mayor Steele voted against this motion;
- David Spencer urged the Mayor to borrow equipment from a neighboring city to spray for mosquitos; the Mayor said spray equipment would cost $10,000 and he would bring the information to the next meeting;
- Sheila Smith asked why peddlers were given licenses to sell flowers in town on holidays like Mother’s Day which hurts existing florist businesses in the city; the Mayor said we could not deny legitimate requests for permits but anyone selling in the city limits must have a permit;
- Shirley Winn thanked the Council on behalf of the residents of Branch Heights for the repair work on the streets in her community-
- A Eutaw Clean-Up Day was set for Saturday, June 2, at 7:00 AM to get volunteers to clean the city in advance of the ACBM meeting.
Weather for Eutaw, Ala. Wednesday Thursday FridayChance of a Thunderstorm82/70Chance of a Thunderstorm88/64Clear79/55
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