Dickens resigns from council, will be court administrator

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham City Councilman Mike Dickens, who served as the council president for many years, resigned his spot on the council Dec. 30 to accept the city’s vacant municipal court administrator position.

Dickens

Dickens, a longtime Pelham resident, was first elected to the council in 1996, and was re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2008. He served as council president for seven years before stepping down as council president in early November.

After Dickens stepped down as council president, Councilwoman Teresa Nichols was elected as council president and Dickens continued to serve as a council member.

As Pelham’s municipal court administrator, Dickens will manage the day-to-day operations of the court and will oversee the city’s three other court magistrates. He will attend classes to become certified as a court magistrate, said Pelham City Clerk Tom Seale, who noted the city’s municipal court administrator position had been vacant since May 2011.

Alabama law requires the council to declare the council seat vacant during its Jan. 9 meeting. However, state law prohibits the council from appointing a new council member the same night.

“They will have 60 days to fill the vacancy, but they can’t fill it Monday,” Seale said Jan. 4. “It will have to be either during a later special session or regular meeting.”

Seale said if the vacancy is not filled within 60 days, each City Council member and the mayor will submit names to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who will then appoint the new member.

“I have provided the council with a list of potential candidates for consideration to fill the vacant position,” said Pelham Mayor Don Murphy.

Murphy’s list included Tom Davidson, Marco Gonzalez, Roy Jowers, Lorraine Kuhl, Mildred Lanier, Maurice Mercer, Rosie Metcalf, Willard Payne, Jim Phillips, Bob Sullivan, Donna Treslar and Harold Watson.

“These names represent people I know (that) have the dedication, experience and love of our city needed for the job,” Murphy wrote in a letter to the council. “I know it is your job to select the best person for the position, therefore I have not contacted any one on this list.”

To be considered for the vacant position on the five-member council, candidates must be Pelham residents, registered voters and at least 18 years old. Any candidates interested in the position should submit a resumé to Nichols at Pelham City Hall off U.S. 31.