Mayor’s wife chosen to fill vacant council seat

Scarlott Lowe is the newest member of the Columbiana City Council as a living civics lesson continues in the city which also serves as the county seat of Shelby County.

The mother of two children, Caleb and Caroline, and the wife of Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe, who vacated his position while on active military duty, Lowe was appointed to fill a District Four council seat vacancy during the City Council’s Jan. 7 meeting.

The opening was created when Mayor Pro Tem Tom Seale was elected by the council as a &uot;temporary&uot; mayor on Jan. 3.

Lowe was recommended by Seale to fill his old council seat. And her appointment was approved on a 4-0 vote.

Following a motion by Councilmember Leslie Whiting and a second by Councilmember Ouida Mayfied, Lowe was approved with Whiting, Mayfield, Tim Billingsley and Seale all voting in favor. Councilmember Sherry Rush was not present.

Lowe was administered the oath of office by Municipal Judge Mike Atchison.

Also selected mayor pro tem

on Jan. 7 was Mayfield, who is filling yet another vacancy created by the election of Seale as acting mayor.

Following a motion by Billingsley and a second by Whiting, Mayfield was approved on a 5-0 vote.

Voting in favor were Billingsley, Mayfield,

Whiting, Seale and Lowe in her first vote as councilmember.

While Seale’s election by the council as acting mayor is temporary, the appointment of a councilmember to fill his former District Four seat is not.

However, when contacted for a comment as to her intentions, Lowe said, &uot;Yes, when Allan returns and takes up his seat as mayor, I do plan on stepping down and have every reason to believe that the council will reappoint Tom back to his seat.&uot;

However, Lowe added, &uot;I may only be temporary, but I plan on doing the best job that I can while I am there.&uot;

The musical chairs of the Columbiana City Council began when Mayor Allan Lowe informed the council by letter of his pending Alabama Army National Guard unit’s military activation, mobilization and deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in America’s ongoing war against terrorism.

Included in the letter read to council on Jan. 3,

by Mayfield, he recommended that Seale be appointed to fill his seat.

After Seale declared the mayor’s position vacant


that same meeting, Seale was elected to the acting mayor’s position on a 4-0 vote. Councilmember Rush was also not present for that meeting.

Mayor Lowe said of Seale: &uot;His proven leadership, as well as his experience and integrity, will insure continuity and continued success that this council has enjoyed as a team.&uot;

In other matters addressed at the Jan. 7 meeting of council, Seale reported that the cost of the downtown revitalization plan by Gresham Smith & Partners has been reduced from $27,540 to $19,090.

The council approved a payment to the company of $8,420 for work done on the plan.

Seale also reported that the next downtown revitalization committee meeting will be held Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.

During the pre-council meeting, Police Chief Michael Lann informed the council that his department has four vehicles which need to be replaced. Seale ask the police chief to get prices and other information for the council.

Library Director Rodney Wooten told the council he would like to participate in an internship program in which the library would hire a high school student.

In addition, he said he would like to apply for a dollar for dollar match county grant.

The grant request would be for $2,000 from the county matched with $2,000 from the city to be used to purchase more audio equipment.

Wooten said funds from

an old library account containing $1,900 could be used for the matching funds.

Seale ask that Wooten get an application and a background check on the intern candidate of his choice.

He said, however, the decision to hire an intern would be left up to the council.

Seale also asked Wooten to get more information on the county grant for later council approval.

Fire Chief Johnny Howard said the council needs to make a decision concerning

the sharing of fire department facilities with the ambulance service.

He also reported on a business fire the previous week at Suburban Gas, which is under investigation by the state Fire Marshal.

In other Jan. 7 action, the council:

Approved the appointment of Ashley Phillips to the parks and recreation board.

Approved the payment of $2,422.41 to Titan Electric for ballpark lighting. The work was done in April, but the council just received the bill, said Seale.

Approved the mayor (Seale), mayor pro tem (Mayfield) and Director of Public Works Hilry King as signatories for the city’s bank and investment accounts.

Approved the purchase of a flail mower at a cost of $1,250.

Approved a payment of $9,975 to Hester Construction for work in connection with the renovation of the downstairs police

facilities at city hall.

Approved transfer of funds from the General Fund to Ball Park Construction for Park & Recreation (city portion) in the amount of $2,229.74 and from the General Fund to the Library Account in the amount of $1,319.18.

Approved the payment of accounts payable.

Approved the minutes of the Dec. 17 regular meeting and Jan. 3 special meeting.

Seale acknowledged the departure of Jan Beane as secretary of the beautification board.

He also asked that businesses and residents of Columbiana join the city in placing yellow ribbons around the city for the safe return of our military personnel