Alabaster council to vote on changing City Hall organization

Published 10:48 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster City Council will decide during its March 4 meeting if it will separate the Alabaster city clerk and treasurer positions, create a city manager position and make other changes to the City Hall staffing layout.

During a Feb. 26 work session, council members agreed to add the items to the agenda for their March 4 meeting. If the resolutions pass, they will split the city clerk and treasurer positions across two employees, and will create a city manager position.

Currently, Marsha Massey serves as both the city clerk and treasurer.

The council likely will vote to appoint current City Administrator George Henry as the city manager, and will likely appoint Massey as the treasurer. The City Hall reorganization would require the city to hire a new employee to serve as finance director, Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said.

As city manager, Henry would have the authority to appoint and remove city employees and appointees, provide monthly financial reports to the council and help to construct the city’s budget each year. Council members previously said Henry already performs many of the actions of a city manager.

If named city manager, Henry would be appointed to the position through 2016. Beginning in 2016, each City Council would have the authority to remove the city manager or reappoint the individual to another four-year term. The council also could agree to leave the position vacant.

Once appointed to a four-year term, it takes a two-thirds vote of the City Council to remove the individual mid-term.

During the work session, Handlon encouraged the council members to also appoint Henry as the city clerk. The council members said they likely will vote to name Henry as acting city clerk, which Ward 7 Councilman Tommy Ryals said will allow the city to conduct a “trial run” with the city manager and city clerk positions combined.

After a set amount of time, the council could vote to appoint Henry as the city clerk through 2016 or appoint someone else to the city clerk position.

Once a person is appointed by the council to a term as city clerk, they can only be removed mid-term by impeachment.

“To me, it would be a good compromise to appoint the manager and name him acting city clerk,” Ryals said after a few council members said they were concerned about the workload of a combined city manager-city clerk position. “If it doesn’t work out, it gives us an open door to change it without having to wait three-and-a-half years.”

The council’s March 4 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Alabaster Municipal Annex.