Snead council responds in part to former candidate’s query




Responding to a complaint from defeated mayoral candidate Jane Childers, the Snead Town Council rescinded action from its Nov. 3 organizational meeting.

Childers, on the agenda to open the meeting, questioned hiring the outgoing mayor as a parttime maintenance person. (Neither she nor the council mentioned Curtis Painter by name.) Childers said that during her 12 years or so attending council meetings, she had never seen a position created and filled in the same meeting. She also asked why the position had not been advertised.

No one responded to the query until near the end of the meeting, when councilman Phillip McHan moved to rescind the prior action and to advertise the position. Councilor Trudy Campbell asked about the need for the position. Town clerk Rae Ware explained the town already has a part-time maintenance person who works April until November. Utility supervisor Jeff Whited indicated he and his crew have been handling maintenance for the remainder of the year.

Ware asked for clarification on advertising for the position. Mayor Tim Kent appeared to authorize the advertisement with the understanding the council could choose whether to fill the position following the two-week advertising period.

Childers also asked Kent the status of his suit against the town for overtime back pay. Kent said the suit is in federal court for the northern district of Alabama. He said so far as he knows the suit will continue; he referred Childers to his attorney.

Childers also questioned how in this state one can hold two paying public offices. She indicated she thought that the state forbids such. Again, without offering specifics, the senior citizens center director appeared to allude to Kent, who works as a police officer elsewhere as well as serving now as mayor of Snead.

Kent offered no specific response to the last of Childers’s questions but did begin the council portion with his own statement. He assured the more than two dozen attending that he and the council would make mistakes. He noted that no one is perfect. He said he believes that when the council makes mistakes it will always be with the best intentions.

Department matters – water/sewer

Utility supervisor Jeff Whited obtained permission for town engineer Robert Nelson to study possible use of a spring for water supply. Whited explained a resident had already performed a year of testing on the spring, which could serve as a backup for the town’s exisiting well. Once the council determined that authorizing the further investigation does not bind the town to any future action, councilors approved the action.

Council members also approved purchases of two new $300 remote-controlled, vehiclemounted spotlights. Whited requested the purchases for existing vehicles, after explaining the new truck the town will receive has one and detailing the need and advantages of such.

Kent asked Whited to consider purchasing sewer pumps to have available for customers on the town sewer line whose pumps may go out. He explained that Nelson had suggested the town explore that possibility.

Police

The council approved police chief Chuck McBrayer’s request that the town pay for continuing education for a reserve officer. After learning of the distant location of another requested class, McBrayer asked the council to table that request, until he could explore that matter.

Kent also advised McBrayer of the necessity of bringing certain matters before the council. McBrayer had mistakenly thought he could contract with the state for holiday overtime traffic grants. Kent, the town’s former police chief, informed McBrayer that such matters, as well as any collection or use of city funds, must go through the council.

Fire

The council tabled fire chief Lee Netherton’s request for replacement of the transmission in a 1996 Bronco. Members asked that employees explore purchasing another vehicle through state surplus, instead. Netherton explained he had hoped eventually to use the Bronco to replace the department’s 1983 brush truck.

Other matters

The council endorsed the 2009 budget proposed by the outgoing administration. Kent won approval, requested by town auditor Lori Criswell, to solicit sealed quotes for all projects requiring bids. Members agreed to solicit the opinion of absent councilman Jack Freeman for certain identified town repairs and floor replacement. They also accepted Kent’s suggestion to paint and refurbish the town hall. They asked Campbell to explore the possibility of the town’s having a float in the upcoming chamber of commerce Christmas parade.

Freeman was the only council member not present for the Nov. 10 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the