Oneonta interviews for council seat vacancy

In a work session following its regularly scheduled council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Oneonta Council listened to five council seat hopefuls. The seat was left vacant with the resignation of councilman Nathaniel Butler.

The five included:

• Joey Prusha is employed at Technology Strategies and has worked with the parks and recreation department and coached for more than 10 years. He said he would like to help develop a solid plan for Oneonta Parks and Recreation. “If appointed to the council, I believe I can start laying groundwork for the vision,” he said.

• Donald Bradley has lived in Oneonta for eight years and has been a member of the parks and recreation board for the past year, coached youth baseball for the last 17 years, and worked with a number of municipalities including Vestavia Hills and Snead. “I want to help move the city forward, and I still have things I want to do for the parks and recreation board.” he said.

• Matt Crow has lived with his wife and two children in Oneonta since 2005. He said his father played football here. Crow said, “I have participated in multiple events in the city, and I look forward to serving on the council and helping move the city forward.”

• Christina Jackson, an Alabama Power employee, moved to Oneonta with her two girls about four years ago and said she has a passion for the city and especially the outdoor activities. She said she also wants to help Oneonta be a better place and she loves volunteering. “I have always been active with various organizations. My passion is for my city and I really like helping to promote our outdoor activities,” she said.

• Steve Love said being on the city council would be an awesome opportunity and he is ready for the challenges. Oneonta has been his home as he has taught in Blount County for 28 years. He said now that his family is grown, he sees this vacancy as an opportunity to work with fellow council members to build a solid foundation for others to build on. Love said “I want the opportunity to work with each one of you and help improve and move our city forward.”

The Oneonta council met in a special called meeting last night to vote on the candidate to fill the vacant seat.

During the regular council meeting, the council approved the purchase of property at the corner of First Avenue and A Street for $155,000. They also approved a resolution establishing Severe Weather Preparedness

Sales Tax Holiday beginning Feb. 21 at midnight and ending Feb. 23 at midnight. The sales tax exemption will be on specific items to be used during a severe weather event.

The council also accepted voluntary disability separation for a full-time fire department employee. City manager Ed Lowe explained that a full-time employee had health issues and must voluntarily be removed from full-time status before he could receive disability benefits.

Caitlin Smith was hired as a seasonal, part-time concession park and recreation employee.

On a motion by councilman Richard Phillips the council approved the expenditure of $5,000 toward solving a criminal cold case from 2014 involving a burglary and rape at The Arc. Phillips said a DNA match of a possible suspect had been found in California.