Council fails to pass ordinance pertaining to city positions
by Rachel Davis
Mar 28, 2013 | 1819 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DORA — The Dora City Council did not pass an ordinance that would have given the city council exclusive rights to appoint positions within the city, including the city clerk, police chief, fire chief, municipal judge, street superintendent, golf course manager and golf course superintendent. There has been a great deal of confusion within the city as to who has the authority to appoint certain positions within the city.

According to Mayor Randy Stephens, state law gives the council the right to appoint the city clerk and municipal judge. During an organizational meeting in November, the council also reappointed the police chief. The struggles came over the city’s fire chief. At that meeting, fire chief and former mayor Chris Edwards was appointed to a 90-term as the city’s acting fire chief. After 90 days, the council voted to reappoint Edwards for another temporary 90-term. Two weeks later, after a discussion with lawyers from the Alabama League of Municipalities, Stephens appointed Edwards permanently, ruffling the feathers of some council members.

Stephens said he opposed Tuesday night’s ordinance because it listed positions — street superintendent and the golf course positions — as officers, when they had formerly been employees of the city.

Council member George Sides Jr. spoke up in favor of the ordinance, because he believes the appointing power should rest with the council, not the mayor.

Sides and council members Hezikiah Walker, Betty Sanders and Richard Lovelady voted in favor of the ordinance. Stephens and council members Robbie Busby, Clyde Nix and Mayor Pro Tem Gary Thomas voted against it. A 4-4 tie vote means the measure did not pass.

•The council hired Don Cummings to be the new manager at Horse Creek Golf Course. The current manager, Jack Bergsieker, is retiring on April 1 after 15 years of services to the city. The council voted to give Bergsieker free golf for life in appreciation for his service.

•The council approved an Eagle Scout project for the lake at Dora Park. The project will build a covered gazebo-type structure near the lake. The scout is responsible for fundraising for the project so the city incurs no cost.

•The council approved the Dora Fire Department’s appearance in a training video, pending approval from the city’s insurance company. The department was chosen to star in the video dealing with roadway hazards and explosives.

•The council approved repairs to the city’s garbage truck. The council is looking for options to purchase a new truck in the future, but expressed a need to keep the current truck running as long as possible.