Archived Story

Outgoing mayor, council members say farewell

Published 11:49am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham’s outgoing mayor and City Council members reflected on their years of service with the city during their last full council meeting on Oct. 15.


The meeting was the last for outgoing Mayor Don Murphy, Council President Teresa Riddle and council members Steve Powell and Bill Meadows.


Riddle praised her colleagues for their involvement in projects such as a new bike trail bridge in Oak Mountain State Park, upcoming sidewalks along Bearden Road and for applying in 2009 for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to help combat flooding off Alabama 261.


FEMA awarded the grant to Pelham on Oct. 11, and the council voted unanimously to approve matching funds on Oct. 15.


“This is an opportunity for us to bring closure on something we started working on three years ago,” Powell said.

Powell, who served for more than 20 years as Pelham’s fire marshal and was elected to the council in 2008, said his time with the city has been “an honor.”

“I wish the newly elected City Council and mayor the best of luck. I care about Pelham and its future,” Powell said.

Meadows, also elected in 2008, said “it’s been a good four years.”

“You try to make a difference, and that is what I have tried to do,” Meadows said. “You have some outstanding people working for your city.”

Murphy, who entered office in 2008, said he plans to spend time with his family after his term ends.

“I enjoyed my four years here, and I look forward to opening the next door in my life,” Murphy said. “I thank you for the opportunity to be your mayor.

“I think our city is better tonight than it was four years ago,” Murphy added.

On Nov. 5, Murphy will be replaced with new mayor Gary Waters, Riddle’s seat will go to Rick Hayes, Powell’s seat will go to Maurice Mercer and Beth McMillan will take over Meadows’ seat. Incumbent council members Karyl Rice and Ron Scott will return for another term.

  • David Ladewig

    I was impressed when this administration changed two important contracts upon taking office.

    1.Pelham taxpayers were over paying for garbage service and that was remedied with a new service. The service has been very good for 4 years.

    2. That horrid rag of a city news letter (cheap black and white print) was dumped for a full color city magazine at about half the cost. The new magazine has been on time and well done for 4 years.

    I hope the citizens of Pelham can continue to enjoy these two services as they are now. What we had before was long past due for the junk yard and this administration took care of us citizens on these two issues.

    Over the discussion, it is plain to see that this administration and council earned some respect from us, the taxpayers, for some pretty successful moves in favor of the taxpayer. I’ve listed 22 items I thought were good. Maybe others have more but just this list is more than ANY city this size has accomplished in this state. Period.

    Thanks for a good job.

    (Report comment)

  • David Ladewig

    A couple of other things got finished under this administration that have helped Pelham is the completion of the I-65 widening and the repaving and striping of Hwy. 31 from one end of Pelham to the other end. I thought that was pretty good news. The medical distribution company that opened here last year was also good news too.

    When anonymous bloggers protest too much, the rant is usually political pap instead of bonofide reality. Bearing false witness anonymously just doesn’t have
    credibility and everyone sees it for what it is, viturperation with no amenability.

    1. Illegal personnel actions? Preposterous.
    2. Personnel lawsuits? No substance, going nowhere.
    3. Costs to correct? There is nothing to correct.
    4. Ethics charges? No basis, going to be tossed.

    Overall, anonymous bloggers with an agenda, tend to post featherweight and foolish burble that only impresses themselves and the few who direct them to post this stuff.

    If the poster was to be believed, the administration and council could have taken a VanWinkle for 4 years and the outcome would have been the same. Only a dimwitted soft head would swim in that pool.

    It is always amusing to read the veiled threat of an anonymous poster. ‘Because you have a friend here, you will never serve here’ seems to be the common nauseum. There is no declaration of interest in Pelham government from me or anyone I know at this point. The new administration will choose their own friends and relatives for boards, jobs, and managers. It is always humbling to remember that 77% of registered voters don’t care what happens here. Only 23% voted and 14.26% determined the outcome. How did you and your department vote?

    (Report comment)

    • pantherlover

      It is so interesting how you think that everyone who opposed the worst administration that Pelham has ever seen, MUST be a city employee. I know you and your friend Mr. Meadows held the city’s workers in low contempt and generally failed to understand the purpose and competent operation of local government, but I can assure you and you should know by your vote total (or lack thereof) that the people that did come out to vote, were completely against the continuous drivel that you and your allies posted and talked about the last four years.

      You have lied and so have your allies. You paid the price in the election. You need to accept this and move on. You have no one to blame but yourselves. This administration failed miserably.

      (Report comment)

      • David Ladewig

        I don’t see much of what you say as interesting. Mostly, I see you as a puppet who is boring, damaged, and angry about something. If you know so much about city government, prove it. And what about Pelham employees? I’ve never said a word about the subject, but they are the highest paid employees in government and that is good for them. The working conditions must be good because no one is quitting, so your point is pointless.

        Continue to wax away anonymously. That is best for you and Pelham taxpayers who are bemused with your false charges and nonsense. Maybe you can spend the next four years criticizing the next administration and give them the value of all your expertise. See you around clowney!

        (Report comment)

  • David Ladewig

    Anytime a new administration comes into power, I wonder what they can and will do for the citizens they are representing. Looking at the Murphy administration and the council, the list of achievements is lengthy and successful. Rarely does a first time mayor/council get this much done in a single term. Here is my partial list of good things that happened here since 2009.

    1. New sidewalks were built in the parks.
    2. 18 tennis courts were repaved.
    3. Two new picnic areas were built in two parks.
    4. Lakeshore is building a new hospital in Pelham.
    5. Colonial Pipeline is undergoing a major expansion.
    6. Academic funding became more important than athletics.
    7. Library scholarship fund was established.
    8. New payplan for new hires bedded in reality.
    9. Seniors got a new and very expensive Van.
    10. 35 Premium acres of parkland were purchased.
    10a.The parkland ROI is now $753K vs $12.5k before.
    11. Hired an exceptional new city Judge for city court.
    12. Water and sewer rates are in line with REAL costs.
    13. Let contract to end flooding on Hwy. 261.
    14. Highland Scone company opened in Pelham. YUM!
    15. Automobile misuse was addressed and ordinance passed.
    16. Pay for college degrees was permanently addressed.
    17. Bike trails and bridges into Oak Mt. park are becoming a reality.
    18. New connecting sidewalks from Hwy 31 and parks will connect to the high school now.

    There is more good works, but overall, this group has accomplished more in less time than any small city in Alabama. Thanks for some good work to all of the administration and council.

    David Ladewig

    (Report comment)

    • pantherlover

      The vast majority of things you listed either had nothing to do with the Mayor or Council, or were actually bad things that have cost and will cost the city untold amounts of money to correct (new pay plan, and other illegal personnel actions that were taken along with the trailer park in the flood zone that the city is now the landlord of) I’m thankful you have been such an outspoken proponent of this group because it means your name is forever linked to them, thereby killing your chances of ever serving our city in any leadership capacity whatsoever.

      (Report comment)

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