County mayors poke fun at each other for charity
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Former Pelham mayor Bobby Hayes took no prisoners, and often drew thunderous laughter during his roast of 12 Shelby County mayors during an Aug. 27 charity event at the Pelham Civic Complex.
“When he first went into Columbiana, he brought the Miami Vice look to town,” Hayes said of Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley. “Look in the Shelby County Reporter. Every time they take his picture, he is wearing a T-shirt and blazer.
“The coat and tie he’s got on tonight, he borrowed from (state Rep.) Mike Hill,” Hayes said.
The event was sponsored by the CASA nonprofit organization, which works to recruit and train volunteers to help abused and neglected children as they go through the court process. The roast raised more than $37,000 for CASA.
During the roast, Calera Mayor Jon Graham, Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven, Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost, Pelham Mayor Gary Waters, Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon, Harpersville Mayor Theo Perkins, Helena Mayor Mark Hall, Handley, Wilsonville Mayor Lee McCarty, Indian Springs Mayor Brenda Bell-Guercio, Vincent Mayor Ray McAllister and Westover Mayor Mark McLaughlin took clean-spirited jabs at each other, much to the crowd’s amusement. Wilton Mayor Joe Fancher did not attend.
“They had a big traffic jam down there, so he couldn’t make it,” Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, the event’s emcee, jokingly said of Fancher.
Hayes playfully highlighted Handlon’s willingness to volunteer City Manager George Henry to rake the wet well at the city’s wastewater treatment plant during a recent tour of the facility, Waters’ desire to have things done “exactly like he wants” and Niven’s desire to build a Chelsea park on property currently in Pelham city limits.
“Go ahead and build the park, we appreciate it,” Hayes said, drawing roaring laughter.
Hayes poked fun at McAllister for showing up to a hunting trip in a pristine white pickup truck and “spit-shined boots,” and shared about an incident during which Perkins shed his shirt and shorts while being attacked by wasps in his front yard.
McAllister was not safe from Hayes’ jokes, either.
“He’s got two answers for any question you ask him: ‘We’ll have to check into that’ and ‘How much does it cost?” Hayes said.