Shifting the city balance: Montevallo reconsiders mayoral responsibility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The appointment of city attorneys and department heads may no longer be left to the power of the mayor in Montevallo.

That is if an ordinance the council voted to have drafted Monday night is ultimately approved by that body.

Mayor Sharon Anderson noted that the appointment of the city prosecutor could be just an appointment from the mayor.

She said in the past the council had voted on the prosecutor even though the city did not have an ordinance that said the council had to vote.

She acknowledged, however, that the council wanted to have further consideration on the appointment. And she asked if the council had a nomination.

Anderson noted, however,

&8220;No one even knows the appointment I was going to make.&8221;

Councilmember Hollie Cost said based on the information the council received, Barry Woodham had credentials that exceeded other candidates.

But Anderson countered that there was another candidate who was a city prosecutor.

Cost said, &8220;I make the motion that in the future that we draft an ordinance that the council make all personnel appointments as a unified body.&8221;

Councilmember Goldsmith responded, &8220;I don&8217;t like the way you are doing this. Because you are taking away the power for the mayor. They have few appointments, and this is one of them.&8221;

Goldsmith said, &8220;I don&8217;t like it and I can&8217;t go along with it.&8221;

Cost said,&8221; Up until this past week apparently this was considered to be a decision for the entire council. We were given resumes and we were told to consider and to discuss this.

And then it was announced that it was an appointment rather than a decision for all of us, and that is where this issue has arisen.&8221;

Goldsmith warned Cost, &8220;You need to watch what you are doing. You are really dividing the city more.&8221;

Cost replied, &8220;I am not dividing the city… This isn&8217;t limiting the power of the mayor as much as it is diving the power among the council so that we can all make a decisions and so that we can all bring in our opinions.&8221;

She said, &8220;This is not meant to be offensive at all, and I&8217;m sorry if it&8217;s being perceived that way,&8221;

Councilmember Greg Pendleton said, on a higher level, the council represents the people … I think we are moving forward.&8221;

Cost clarified appointments to be made by the council would be for chief of police, city attorney, prosecutor and the department heads.

The motion to draft the ordinance passed with Pendleton, Becky Cox-Rodgers and Cost in favor, Goldsmith opposed, and Anderson abstained. Councilmember Dana Byrd was absent.

Following the meeting Anderson said, &8220;I just have no objection to involving all of the council in decision making.

But I would like to look at the code to see what duties they already have and look at the appointing power of the mayor (regarding appointment of employees)