Pelham swears in fifth council member

New Pelham City Council member Ron Scott, left, takes the oath of office as it is delivered by City Clerk Tom Seale, right. Scott's wife, Glenda, looks on. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham City Council is at a full five members for the first time in nearly three months after new Councilman Ron Scott took the oath of office during an April 2 meeting.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley recently appointed Scott to fill the vacancy left when former council member Mike Dickens stepped down in early January to take a job as the city’s municipal court administrator.

Scott, who has been the executive director of the Economic Development Association of Alabama since 2007, is a Samford University graduate and said he has been living in Pelham for about seven years.

He edged out other council candidates Rick Wash, Jim Phillips, Harold Watson, Thomas Davidson, Rick Hayes, Mildred Lanier, Maurice Mercer, Bob Sullivan and David Ladewig for the spot.

“I sort of feel like the old country mule that was entered in the Kentucky Derby and somehow won,” Scott said, drawing laughter from the packed City Council chambers. “I love having the opportunity to serve, because that’s what this country was built on. I believe in paying my civic rent.”

Scott will serve the remainder of Dickens’ council term, which will end in November.

In other business, the council:

-Heard from Mayor Don Murphy, who gave an update on a 9-year-old boy who was struck by a truck on March 26 in Pelham’s Chandalar subdivision. Murphy said the boy is still being treated at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery.

“I want to tell you folks how proud I am of our first responders and how quick they got out there,” Murphy said, noting he arrived on the scene of the accident a few minutes after it happened. “Everyone’s prayers in here will help (the 9-year-old), and they will help the man who was driving the truck.”

-Approved the $53,500 purchase of a 2010 Starcraft Allstar 25-passenger bus for the Pelham Senior Center. Council President Teresa Nichols said the purchase used no money from the city’s general fund, and was paid for by grants, donations and money raised by members of the Senior Center.

Voted unanimously to cancel a contract with the Alabama High School Athletic Association to host the state volleyball tournament at the Pelham Civic Complex.

This year would have marked the final year for the tournament in Pelham, but council members said AHSAA officials requested to be released from the contract with Pelham.

“They’ve got a newer and bigger facility (in Montgomery) they’re going to,” Murphy said during the pre-meeting work session. “We pay for the hotel rooms for the teams and coaches, and we’ve been losing about $50,000 a year.”