Pelham reaches $200,000 Davis family mortgage retirement goal

Mayor Don Murphy announced the mortgage for the Davis family home has been paid off and the goal of raising the $200,000 has been met during the Pelham City Council meeting March 1.

The goal, established for the family of slain Pelham Police officer Philip Davis, was exceeded following the Feb. 26 concert at WorkPlay, headlined by Alabama frontman Randy Owen, which benefited the Davis Family Mortgage Retirement Fund.

“We had people all over the county and area give,” Murphy said. “We worked together and showed the love.”

Murphy said the city will hold a mortgage-burning celebration with the Davis family.

In other council actions:

— The council held a first reading of a resolution to authorize the mayor to sign an extension agreement with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in the amount of $90,000. The council previously authorized the lobbying firm’s services for $30,000, and the current resolution would amend that agreement for the 2010 budget.

A vote to suspend the rules, thus allowing an immediate vote on the resolution, failed to pass unanimously and the item will be brought up for a vote at the March 15 meeting.

The vote failed with Council President Mike Dickens and members Bill Meadows and Teresa Nichols voting to suspend the rules, and members Steve Powell and Karyl Rice voting not to suspend the rules.

Meadows said the two weeks of lost time between March 1-15 for the firm to secure funds for the city is time that can’t be made up.

“We have to act with a sense of urgency,” Meadows said. “Now, we’ll never know.”

Despite the lost two weeks, Meadows said the city must act to secure funds at the state and federal level.

“I can’t just hunker down in a foxhole,” Meadows said. “I have to give it a chance.”

Powell reiterated that his vote was against suspending the rules and the matter would be voted on at the next meeting, but also said the council must be careful when spending such a large amount of money.

“This money is not mine or this council’s,” Powell said. “We’re talking about $90,000.”

Murphy said he was absolutely against the resolution.

“I’m not in favor of that and I’ll continue to speak out against that,” Murphy said. “It’s not a good expenditure of our taxpayers’ dollars.”