Carbon Hill seeking District 6 council member


CARBON HILL — The Carbon Hill City Council has opened the process for District 6 residents to apply for the open seat in that district. 

At Tuesday's council meeting, Mayor April Kennedy Herron said, "We'll be taking applications until 4 p.m. on December the 12th. The council will appoint a new member from those applications that we received." Due to a revised schedule, the council will meet after that on Dec. 15 and Jan. 12. 

In response to a question from District 3 Councilman David Phillips, Herron said the council would be able to interview or talk to the applicants, and that she could let the council members sit in when she interviews the applicants. "I can't have more than three of you at a time because of the Sunshine Law," she said. 

Phillips said no one spoke with him when he was recently appointed as a council member. Herron said many times the council only has one applicant. 

The seat has remained opened since Greg Anderson resigned around late June. No one ran for the position during the August municipal elections, and the council decided to wait until the new council was seated on Nov. 2, allowing the new District 2 council member, Oranetta Kirk, to take her seat first. 

In other action, the council:

•agreed informally to move its meetings in December to the first and third Tuesday of the month, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, due to the Dec. 22 meeting falling on Christmas week. Herron said she had told people she planned to hire a magistrate on Dec. 8, and had suggested Dec. 8 and 15, but the council didn't appear to want to meet two weeks in a row. Herron said the magistrate will now be hired on Dec. 15. The council had moved the Nov. 24 meeting up to Nov. 17 due to the Thanksgiving holiday week, meaning the council will now wait two weeks until Dec. 1 to meet. 

•heard from Herron the mayor, council and clerks had a webinar class on Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. A series of webinars are being streamed by the Alabama League of Municipalities, covering the general powers of municipalities, duties of the mayor and council and the Open Meetings Act as an orientation for new officials. Social distancing will be observed. 

•heard Herron review a recent work session with Sheriff Nick Smith concerning his proposal about the Sheriff's Office to run policing for the town to help the city with its finances. "We had a very good dialogue back and forth and we kindly declined their offer at this time. We're not interested in that right now. The option is on the table maybe for a later date, but right now we're not just interested. We'd like to do it on our own for a little while," Herron said. 

•heard concerns from Kirk about drivers on Fourth Avenue near the nursing home who are "not stopping - they're flying up and down that road." Herron said she will see police are increasing patrol there. 

•heard Herron say she has to get with Alabama Power about several street lights in the city which need to be replaced, including near the old Arrow shirt plant. 

•heard from Phillips signups for basketball had gone well, and park and rec officials liked having one team. Herron said the Blue Gym can be used, as long as renovation work is not going on at the facility. Herron noted only dispatch, Street Superintendent Alan May and Herron have a key. "They'll have to come get the key from dispatch and then return it," Herron said, noting the person having the key will be held responsible if anything goes wrong. Phillips said those who now have the keys will know the importance of not handing out the keys to make copies as it will be harder on those who do have keys. He thinks in the past someone the figureheads who had the keys was not the problem, but that someone got the key who wasn't supposed to. Herron said, "Until we get all this work done that (District 4 Councilwoman Judy Hurst) has got lined up, nobody is going to have an extra key - at all." Herron said the gym is "clean and sanitary," and can be used as it now stands, but electrical work and new doors still have to be put up. "We'll just have to work around each other," she said. 

•heard that a man is available to have a snow simulation machine to use the night of the Dec. 12 Carbon Hill Christmas parade. The city will try to raise $450 to contract for the service. 

•heard that the city's toy drive will have a drop off for new, unwrapped toys or money at the City Hall and Mava's. Children from that area of the county will be helped, involving several communities. Herron warned parents not to "double dip" with other toy drives, as the city will cross reference.