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2009-04-29 / Front Page
Déjá vu all over again
Town of Cleveland
It is alleged that another resignation by a Cleveland official was mishandled. According to council members present at Monday night’s meeting, the resignation of Mayor Larry Longshore was handled inappropriately and has therefore been rescinded. Councilman Mike Evans stated that the mayor’s resignation should have been written and presented to the municipal clerk before the council meeting on April 13 and it was not.
The 25-minute council meeting was well-orchestrated with only three members of the council present; Kandy Little, Mike Evans and David Grigsby. Noticeably absent were councilmen Glenn Puckett and Doug Hill.
As previously reported, councilwoman Little read the resignation of Mayor Larry Longshore on April 13, 2009. Longshore cited his need to devote more time to his business. The resignation was unanimously accepted by council to be effective April 14.
It is unclear whether the written resignation had passed through the clerk’s hand as required by law which would allow the mayor’s resignation to be rescinded. According to Alabama Code AGO 2003-065, “a resignation can be withdrawn at any time prior to the effective date or its acceptance by the council, whichever comes first.” The code also states “the resignation should be in writing and submitted to the municipal clerk for presentation” as stated by Evans.
Two days following, on April 15, the council called for a special meeting by posting written announcements at town hall, M & K Mercantile, and Cleveland Pharmacy. A motion was made and passed Monday that this meeting be stricken from the record and considered “null and void” due to “no quorum.” The lack of at least four members of council allows this meeting to be stricken from the record. Present at the April 15 meeting were council members Kandy Little, Mike Evans and David Grigsby, leaving councilmen Glenn Puckett and Doug Hill absent.
The resignation of Mayor Longshore and the alleged lack of protocol is hauntingly familiar to Cleveland. Controversy still surrounds the resignation of Wayne Owens from Cleveland’s Water Board. Questions of whether Owens resigned or was “let go” led to a $4000 settlement from the town to avoid litigation. Owens has since been appointed head of parks and recreation.
As of April 23, Owens has also taken the position of running the concession stand. The $6.50-an-hour position apparently became vacant last week. Being a substantial means of revenue, the concession stand needs to remain open for the 12 nights left of the season. A motion was passed for Owens to continue working the concessions unless someone else is hired for the position. The council urged if anyone is interested in applying for concession worker to contact Owens or call the town hall at 274-9640 for more information.
In other news, councilman David Grigsby is still looking at bids for a new police vehicle. Currently, there is no backup vehicle in working condition. Grigsby is also working on a grant that would subsidize the hire of a fulltime police officer.
Correction: The Blount Countian reported that during a meeting held earlier this month, Owens had been present during an executive session of the Cleveland Town Council. Councilman/mayor pro tem Kandy Little verified that Owens did not participate in the executive session.We apologize for the error.