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Students, staff members recognized by LaFayette council

Four local students and two long-time staffers received the credit they were due during Monday’s LaFayette City Council meeting.

The meeting started with Mayor Barry Moody and all five members of the council recognizing Tytiana Bell, Anquavian Presley, Tamara Presley and Jordan Wallace. All four students just graduated from LaFayette High School and received 2020 AMEA Scholarship Award. The scholarship was worth $2,500.

Anquavian Presley will attend Alabama State University and pursue a major in criminal justice. Tamara Presley will attend Southern Union and pursue a degree in nursing. Bell will major in business administration, and Wallace will attend Shelton State to pursue a degree in athletic training.

“On behalf of myself and the council, we want to extend a big thank you to AMEA and the scholarships they present to the city on a yearly basis,” Moody said.

The council also gave congratulations to Diane Perry, who works alongside City Clerk Louis Davidson, and Cheryl Royster, who works in the police department. Perry has been working for the city of LaFayette for 40 years.

“Diane, I tell you all the time how much I appreciate you,” Davidson said. “I love you. Coming in new and green and not understanding municipal government, Diane helped me out tremendously. Diane still helps me out tremendously.”

Royster has been working for the city for 42 years this September.

“Everyone that comes to the LaFayette Police Department, the first face they will see is Mrs. Cheryl. It’s always a welcoming spirit,” Police Chief George Rampey said.

“We’re very fortunate to have Mrs. Cheryl to be with us. Ever since I’ve been with the city of LaFayette, Mrs. Cheryl has been a big part of my career. She’s always done whatever she can to help. We always tell her the police department can’t run without her.”

Perry and Royster, along with councilmember Tammie Williams, who has served the city of LaFayette for 20 years, were honored in Montgomery earlier this month in Montgomery for their years of service to the city.

In other action, the council joined in with the other cities of Chambers County to make Aug. 7 a day of prayer.

“We must continue to come together and pray for Chambers County and our nation,” Moody said. “We urge all citizens to join in and  pray for our leaders, our nation and our state as a whole, so in the spirit of trust, cooperation and goodwill, we beseech God for the strength and wisdom to make Chambers County a better place in which to live.”

Perry has been a key figure in organizing this annual day for the last 19 years. It will start at 6 p.m. CT  and is set behind the courthouse. Due to COVID-19, those wishing to participate are asked to stay in their cars.

“The main thing is for us to continue to pray because this is an invisible enemy that is out here. We need to pray. Pray for all of us,” Perry said. “Pray for families, because some have lost loved ones.”

Council members Williams and Tony B.Thomas ran unopposed for reelection and were re-elected to their positions.

The council also discussed returning their city employees back to a tier-one basis for retirement. This would allow employees to draw retirement after 25 years of service. Tier two employees could retire after 10 years of service, but they could not draw retirement money until they were 62.

This resolution, which should be presented at the next meeting, would make the city’s benefits more competitive to the surrounding area.