Tucker resigns; Phillips picked to be District 3 councilman

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CARBON HILL - Patricia Tucker resigned from the District 3 Carbon Hill City Council seat Tuesday night, and the council replaced her with David Phillips, who is already running for the position in the Aug. 25 elections. 

Phillips - who was appointed to fill the seat until the new term starts on Nov. 2 - was sworn in at Carbon Hill City Hall after Tuesday's meeting at the community center. 

The meeting was the first to be held under the council's new schedule for the second and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. The council had previously met on Mondays. The new council that will be elected and then seated in November will decide when it wants to meet. 

Tucker was selected on July 13 to serve on District 3, filling the seat of Mayor April Herron, who took over when Mark Chambers recently resigned as mayor. However, city officials said Tuesday night that it was discovered Tucker did not meet residency requirements after all and had resigned. 

Tucker did not attend Tuesday's meeting, nor did District 2 Councilman Clarence Colbert, who did not qualify for another term. With District 6 still vacant, that left an all-female council Tuesday, with Herron, Cindy Killingsworth in District 1, Judy Hurst in District 4 and Jewell Hess in District 5. All have qualified to run for on Aug. 25.  

Herron had texted to the Daily Mountain Eagle on July 14 that another applicant had applied for the District 3 position. On Tuesday, she revealed Phillips was the other applicant, and he was proposed to be the new replacement. 

Phillips is running against Carol Ann Page Hackney in the Aug. 25 election for the term that begins in November. 

Herron noted Tuesday no applicants had come in to yet for District 6, which also had no candidates to qualify for the upcoming election. After the meeting, city officials said they had checked with the Alabama League of Municipalities, who suggested at this late point waiting until after the elections to fill the seat. 

"We'll continue to take applications if anyone is interested in filling District 6's place," Herron said in the meeting. However, she explained after the meeting that the appointment would wait until after Aug. 25, and the council would fill the seat until November. Then the vacancy for the new term would be handled in November. 

The League told the Daily Mountain Eagle Monday that state law indicates the council could declare a vacancy when the new term begins in November and then appoint a new council member. If it did not by a deadline, then the governor would pick. If the governor failed to do that by a deadline, a new election would be held. 

After the meeting, Phillips, 44, who was in the audience, said, "I can't wait to start helping the city to improve."

Phillips, who has lived in the city for about 10 years, is originally from East Walker and graduated from Dora High School in the mid 1990s. He has been employed at the same business more more than 25 years, Altec Industries in Birmingham, where he is currently an aluminum welder and has worked in about every area of the shop, including in group leadership. 

He said he wanted to be on the council as he likes "being involved in my community." When the opportunity arose, he decided to pursue it. 

"I have a wife, six children and four grandchildren," he said. Phillips and his wife, Mandy, celebrated their ninth anniversary Wednesday. 

In other action, the council: 

• Agreed to hold a work session on city finances, recommended by Herron, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Herron has been pushing to have a work session on the subject for some time, and indicated that was one of the first things she wanted to do after becoming mayor. 

• Heard from Street Superintendent Alan May the city still has repair issues with is brush truck, although the back hoe has been repaired and returned.

• Held an executive session to discuss good name and character of an individual.

• Approved hiring Jeffery Mays for a full-time position with the Street Department, as well as hiring George Jackson in a part-time position for the department. 

• Decided to approve creating a part-time Street Department position to help with seasonal  needs until October. Applications will be taken through Aug. 7. 

• Heard from a Little League football coordinator on a request for financial help, although Herron said the city would have to investigate details and regulations. 

• Heard from Deidre Tatum from the Walker County Community Action Agency about financial help with the agency's proposal for its proposed new countywide transportation system, including Carbon Hill, although she did not ask for a specific amount. It would not depend on routes, but would have riders give 24-hour notice to be picked up. A van would also probably be parked for the Carbon Hill area, with other vans parked in other areas of the county. Herron said the city would have to look at its finances at the work shop before the Aug. 11 meeting. 

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