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Lanett to advertise for city manager

LANETT — The Lanett City Council on Monday approved a resolution to advertise for a city manager. A committee headed by Council Member Tony Malone was previously appointed to study the need for a city manager and now appears to have taken a step toward hiring one.

Lanett has had city managers (or administrators) in the past but have not had one in a number of years.

An agreement hasn’t been made to hire a city manager, list their duties or their salary. What’s been done so far is to advertise the position and accept applications.

Council Member Tifton Dobbs got some things off his chest at Monday’s meeting. He said that he’d recently gone to the doctor and was told that some problems he was having were coming from anxiety and stress.

“I was thinking about giving up this council seat,” he said. “The Lord spoke to me, telling me that I was in the right place at the right time. My integrity speaks for itself, and I want to bring some things up.”

Dobbs said the city has four department heads, three men and one woman.

“The three men are in grade 16 and the woman in 14,” he said. “I think we need to be an equal opportunity employer and do the right thing.”

Dobbs also had some questions about a house he said the city had purchased near the Lanett airport site. He said it was his understanding the city intended to purchase the house for $137,000. Some thought was given to renovating the house, but it was found to be infested with termites. Dobbs said that two draws totaling $31,500 were taken on the house before it was torn down.

“Where’s the money?” he said.

Dobbs said it was his understanding that the state bid law did not allow contracts to be split. He described that as a way to get around the bid law.

“I like fireworks, and I think what we did last year (on Labor Day weekend) was awesome,” Dobbs said, “But if we can afford $22,000 for fireworks, we can afford a city manager. Who determined that one fireworks supplier should be the sole source? Have fireworks ever been bid before? It’s easy to bid it out, and I think a majority council vote should determine such things.”

After the meeting, Mayor McCoy said he’d previously discussed all this with Dobbs. “He was talking about things the council approved several years ago,” he said. “I don’t know what his motive was to bring it up tonight. He’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s not good to blindside every other member of the council with that. Any new member of the council needs to be there for a while and learn what’s going on before making accusations against others.”