Pelham Mayor vetoes resolution extending contract with lobbying firm

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy has vetoed a resolution that would have extended a contract for $90,000 with the lobbying firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

City Clerk Tom Seale confirmed that Murphy vetoed the contract March 16, less than 24 hours after the City Council passed the resolution by a vote of 3-2 during its March 15 meeting.

By law, the council must once again vote on the measure at its next regularly scheduled meeting, which is April 5.

The resolution extended the agreement in the amount of $60,000, with the city already having paid the firm $30,000 for lobbying services.

The original contract for $30,000 expired Jan. 31.

However, Seale informed the council during the March 15 meeting that part of the new $60,000 agreement was for services rendered during February, as the firm continued to work on behalf of the city even though it was not under contract.

“If they’ve been working on our behalf, then what did they do?” Murphy said during the meeting.

Murphy contends the firm failed in securing state and federal funds from the recent stimulus package, and that extending the agreement would just be a continued waste of the taxpayers’ money.

“I’ve not yet found one resident in the city that was in favor of spending this money,” Murphy said.

The March 15 vote passed with President Mike Dickens and members Bill Meadows and Teresa Nichols voting for the resolution, and members Steve Powell and Karyl Rice voting against it.

In order for the council to override the mayor’s veto, either member Powell or Rice would have to change their vote.