Disgruntled Snead resident speaks on months-old dispute

Resident Fred LaRue addressed the Snead Town Council over a lingering dispute he and neighbor Jeff Lackey have had with a nearby repair business. In February, LaRue had asked help from the city about ending what he reports as routine business parking in the LaRue Drive roadway. He asserts the reported parking makes resident use of the road extremely difficult and presents an emergency safety hazard.

LaRue complained that the city has not taken his concern seriously. He said he checked minutes from the seven meetings after his complaint which indicated no city action. He reported he understood an April 13 letter had called for trash removal at the site and that he was told by Snead Police Chief Alan Harper that it has been cleaned-up.

La Rue disputed that evaluation, distributing photographs and questioning each council member present if he thought the site looked clean. Each responded, individually, that he did not.

In exchanges which sometimes grew tense between LaRue, Harper, and Snead Mayor Curtis Painter, each defended his position. Painter held that neither he nor the council have enforcement power, only the police.

Harper, whom LaRue stated had given him a ticket for parking in the roadway when called to the location by LaRue, said that such tickets are at officer discretion. Harper declared the council session an inappropriate site for the discussion and told LaRue they should have the conversation outside. LaRue refused to follow Harper outside, declaring he wanted the council and public to hear his words.

Councilman Tim Kent asked attending town attorney Brett King to follow through on his offer to look at the situation for the council. King promised to do so and report on his evaluation to the council.

Pursuant to a FEMA funding-grant request, the council named members to the town’s storm shelter committee. They selected town utilities department supervisor Jeff Whited as operations manager, fellow department employee Ty Webb as equipment manager, Harper for the police department position, fire Chief Lee Netherton for his department, Eddie Ellison for signage or communications, and Josh Daniels as the certified paramedic.

The council postponed consideration of a proposed dog ordinance for the town by accepting town clerk Rae Ware’s suggested delay until the new council’s organizational meeting in November. Members approved King’s request that the town pay part of his expenses to attend a state conference for town attorneys and accepted the proposed M4A (Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging) contract for assistance with the town’s senior citizens center.

Councilman Phillip McHan missed the July 11 session attended by Painter and other councilors Kent, Greg Ogles, Charles Sanders, and Dale Snead. The council meets regularly the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.