Montevallo council divided on mayor power ordinance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An ordinance that would have given the mayor and council of Montevallo shared authority to fill certain positions failed to pass Monday night on a 3-3 split vote.

The ordinance was introduced by Councilmember Dr. Hollie Cost at a previous meeting of council and drafted by Steven R. Sears, city attorney.

Councilmember Dana Byrd was out of town during that meeting. And while Councilmembers Cost, Greg Pendleton and Becky Cox-Rodgers voted in favor of drafting the ordinance, Mayor Sharon Anderson abstained and Councilmember Willie Goldsmith voted &8220;no.&8221;

Monday night, however, with all councilmembers present, the ordinance failed with Cost, Pendleton and Cox-Rodgers in favor, and with Anderson, Byrd and Goldsmith opposed. A four-vote majority was required for the actual ordinance to pass.

The ordinance would have given the mayor and council both exclusive authority to fill such positions including chief of police, fire chief, revenue inspector, fire and life safety inspector, the city clerk, city bookkeeper/accountant, city planner, city prosecutor, city judge and city attorney.

Following Monday night&8217;s vote, Cost said, &8220;I was disappointed but I wasn&8217;t surprised at all.&8221;

She said the way the ordinance was written was to clarify procedures because things had been done one way for the last two years of the current administration.

Cost said previously, &8220;We have all as a council decided who would be appointed to specific positions, and now there is a direct change in the appointing powers.&8221;

She said, &8220;The mayor has taken, is using her authority to make an appointment for the city prosecutor.&8221; And she called that &8220;a deviation.&8221;

Anderson went on to appoint attorney Danny Crowson to fill the position of city prosecutor Monday night.

Cost said, &8220;This same issue happened two times. We had an appointment sit on her desk or sit on the table for several weeks until it was discovered that she had the sole appointing power, and then she took the sole appointing power. And it&8217;s her right to do so, but it is also our right to request that the council have the authority to do so.&8221;

Anderson said, &8220;I think a mayor should be able to retain his or her administrative powers, and that&8217;s one of the few powers that a mayor has, the power of appointment, and therefore I was opposed to the ordinance.&8221;