LaFayette discusses how to fill open council seat

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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During Monday’s LaFayette City Council meeting, the council discussed how it would fill the position on the council left vacant by former Councilmember T. Shannon Hunter.

City Clerk Louis Davidson said Hunter’s last day on the council was May 31.

“We’re a Class A municipality, which is any city or town that’s under 6,000 people,” Davidson explained. “So the rules to fill that vacancy is the mayor and council have 60 days to appoint someone. If the mayor and council does not do that, then there’s a 30-day period where the governor has the authority to appoint someone. Then, within those 90 days, total, if no one’s appointed, then the probate judge will have to call a special election.”

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Davidson said a candidate for the vacant position would have to have been a resident of their district for 90 days before their first day of employment.

Councilmember Terry Mangram asked what the council should do next to get some names. Davidson suggested publishing a newspaper ad for the vacancy.

Councilmember Michael Ellis suggested accepting resumes and setting up interviews. Councilmember Tammie Williams suggested discussing how they’d go about finding candidates at the council’s next work session.

The council members and mayor decided to discuss the issue further at a work session on June 13 work session at 5 p.m.

In other business, the LaFayette City Council approved retained grant specialist Louise Campbell’s request to apply for an ADECA (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) grant to install a couple of electric vehicle charging bays in downtown LaFayette off of Highway 431.

She said the city needed to request $119,000 and that the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority would provide a match of $51,000.

The mayor and council also looked into how it would go about turning the BB&T building at 54 LaFayette Street North into the new city hall.

“I want at least by Aug. 31 for everything to be done,” LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines said. “We’ll do our ribbon cutting. Sept. 6, we need to open up for city hall.”

In an interview, Vines said nothing major needed to be done to the building and that the changes would be largely cosmetic. The council voted to look into what it will take to get the work done. Vines said the city may need to bid the work out to a contractor.