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Lanett council discusses hiring of city administrator

LANETT — A Lanett council member has expressed some doubts about the possibility of hiring a city administrator. In a work session on Monday, Angelia Thomas said it needs to be more than changing the name from city manager to city administrator.

“It makes no sense to change the name but keep the same function,” she said. “The responsibilities need to be different. It would be like changing my name from Angelia to Angie. It needs to be more than a name change.”

Mayor Kyle McCoy recently appointed Thomas and fellow council member Tifton Dobbs to a committee to make a recommendation to the full council on whether or not the city should hire an administrator. A proposal could be ready as soon as next week’s council meeting.

McCoy said there is a more substantive difference than just the name change.

“Some cities in Alabama have the mayor/council form of government and some have the council/administrator form. We haven’t had a city manager since Joel Holley left.”

Holley served during the tenure of the late Oscar Crawley. McCoy said that having an administrator wasn’t so much for right now but for some time in the future.

“We need to clear up any confusion about what we have done in the past,” he said. “It would clear it up for future administrations.”

Thomas said the city would likely be committing to some significant spending in hiring an administrator.

“We would need to do some restructuring from the way we are doing things now,” she said.

“Right now, it’s just for discussion,” McCoy said. “Let’s send it to the personnel committee, and let them make a recommendation.”

McCoy asked Thomas if she favored creating the new position and hiring someone in the near future. She said she’d be reluctant to do that.

“That would be more money being paid out unnecessarily,” she said.

Thomas added that the mayor, along with Planning & Development Director Tony Chandler, are pretty much handling the day-to-day operations of the city, much in the manner an administrator would be doing.

McCoy is currently facing three felony charges for using his office for personal gain. Chandler is facing charges that include using his position for personal gain, third degree theft of services and making a false statement to the Ethics Commission.