The Blount Countian’s May 8 article “Council Disses Dicey” – in an effort to communicate on short notice the basic facts of “what happened” in a Blountsville town council meeting – did not include important points of the council’s reasons for acting as it did. Nor did it include council member Childers’ reaction to what transpired. (Childers, an elected council person, was replaced and her position filled by an appointed member, by vote of the town council last week.)
Childers had experienced a fall and hip injury while visiting out of town in November last year. As a result, she was admitted into a rehabilitation facility and subsequently missed attending Blountsville council meetings from the latter part of last year through most of April of this year. She returned in late April to resume her duties with the council. At that time, she was told that she had been removed from her position by the council, but was under the impression that she would be reappointed at the next council meeting. (Exactly what she was told is shrouded in the confidentiality of an executive session.)
The following week, last week, the council took nominations for the open position. Childers and Kathy Irvin were nominated, and a tie vote resulted, which mayor Michael Glass broke by voting for Irvin. The council cited Childers’ absence from council meetings for more than 90 days, and lingering questions as to whether she would be able to resume her full-time residency in Blountsville, as reasons for taking steps to fill her position.
Contacted for comment, Glass said there was nothing personal in the council’s decision, that he and Childers have been friends for years, and the reasons for the council’s actions were grounded in state law specifying permissible duration of absences and permanent residency requirements. “The law is the law, and we followed state law,” Glass said.
The Blount Countian regrets that the council’s reasons for acting as it did were not included in the report.