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As it becomes time for pages to come down they will be moved to the archives. There will be no set placement of order, you'll just have to search for what you want.

Christmas and Scrooges

In spite of the efforts of some of our county and city scrooges it appears I will still be able to do Christmas for many of our counties needy children.

 I am in need of some dolls, footballs and basketballs if anyone desires to donate.

If you have knowledge of a child that won't have a Christmas without help, please contact your pastor, elected official or a recognized group and have them get in contact with me.

I do ask that you supply the names, ages and sex of all children in the household. Please no more than six (6) children per home. I try to hold the age to fourteen (14) and below. I do need these names turned in by 15 December to give me ample time to work things out.

Here's hoping we can ensure every child knows someone loves them and thinks of them.

As we enter into this time of giving let us not forget the greatest gift of all and if he could sacrifice a son, surely we can give up a little to let others know they are not alone.

Thank you.

County Commission 12 November 2013

Call to order at 9 AM by Chairman Andrews followed by prayer by Lee Peacock and the pledge of allegiance. Roll showed all present. The agenda was approved as were the minutes for previous meetings. Payroll/personnel report showed one new hire. Jail dispatcher. approved Under claims there were 3 in the gasoline fund over the limit as well as 3 in the general fund over the limit. Approved unanimously. Mr. Ron True and Ray Hodge with Meadowbrook insurance group were next. Mr. True spoke of getting with the Association of County Commissioners group 2 years ago and implementing a Safety Incentives Bonus Program. This program would pay back a rebate or refund if certain items were met. The company has put together a new website called Safety Assurance whereby authorized personnel may go on line to review and look at recommendations for additional safety programs or address any issues the commission may have. This site just came on line in September and is still a work in progress.

Mr. True spoke of accidents at work and the reports filed. He stated the reports are not as through as they could or should be. By paying more attention and filling these reports out perhaps it will save someone in the future.

A review of claims for the previous 3 years showed some very large claims. Mr. True stated a strong, active safety committee could be a huge benefit and recommended the commission form such a group. He presented the commissioners with a program of how to implement this. s who, what, when and where folks.

She spoke of the qualifications of local people applying for employment and the need for additional educational factors. She said the funding for the organization is basically 1/3 from governmental entities such as commissions, 1/3 from business and industry and 1/3 from grants. Director for the Conecuh County Department of Human Resources, Ms. Tena Moten introduced herself to the commission. She told the group she lives in Selma and commutes each day. She told the commission she had determined she needed 2 new board members; Ms. Lula Palmer will go on the board in January. She also spoke on building issues the commission should have responsibility over, also, need some bush hogging done in the dumpster area. Bid opening scheduled for 9:30 for track hoe for dirt pits. Only one bid submitted. Warrior Tractor 172,610.00 John Deere equipment. Bid accepted.

s story, the commission will take it back up at a work session prior to the next scheduled meeting. Work session to start at 3 PM. EMA Director Johnny Brock was called away. More to come later from Ms. Stallman. County Engineer Foshee addressed the commission once more on the pay arrangements for the on call, standby crew. It was adopted that everything will remain as is now. Mr. Foshee reported the CDBG grant for the water extension from Brooklyn to Andalusia County Line has been awarded. Work will start next some time next summer.

Workshop in Montgomery next week requires a county commissioner or designee to attend. Mr. Foshee will be attending the workshop.

Replacement side cutter will be in the middle of December, the old one to go on GovDeal in the spring.

New RED p/u trucks are in. Radios and all being swapped over now should be finished next week. Old trucks to go on Gov Deals except for the ones designated for other departments. Chairman report: Uniforms are not coming back properly. Mr. Foshee advised there had been problems over the years and only 2 employees are still involved. There is currently a contract in place but when the contract is finished, so is the company. In other words, service not worth the be paid to local residents. Approved unanimously. The commission does receive these funds back. County Administrator Judy Covan brought up the return of funds on some bond issues involving both the county and city. She contacted the bond attorney as to how the funds may be spent (jointly or separately). Bond Attorney Mr. Graves advised that it would be best to put out 3 resolutions to all each entity to spend the monies as they desired. Ms. Covan directed to check if this money could be transferred over the Evergreen Wood Products fund recently approved.

Ms. Covan asked a resolution be passed for each truck contract for the funding of these vehicles. Passed unanimously.

It was agreed to pay $128,276.00 for the side cutter.

No paperwork on the excavator as of now. Mr. Andrews recognized Mr. Foshee was commended at a recent meeting of the ATRC rural planning session. Nothing from the media.Adjourn 10:48


Call to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff.

Invocation by David Cook followed by roll call showing all members present.

Ms. Harriet Hyde came before the council in the informal session. She had 2 paintings depicting Evergreen during earlier years. These were hand done oil painting by former Evergreen resident Sharron Jones Gates. The city opted to purchase these for the selling price of $375.00 for the pair.

The agenda was approved as printed.

Mayors Comments.

Mayor Wolff gave the following information: The annual convention will be held on the first Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of May. Several members expressed interest in going.

The Alabama Fire College will be on hand 18 November at 6 PM.

The city has received a bill for $200,000.00 for attorney’s fees from the ADC/NAACP lawsuit over the redistricting of Evergreen. Mayor Wolff asks for a motion from the council to contest the amount of the fees. Motion carried.

Accounts payable and Income/expense reports will be introduced at next meeting.

Previous minutes from regular meeting of October 15 and the special meeting of October 23 were approved.

Old Business:

Superintendent Sullivan came before the council requesting a 90 day extension be granted to the Webb Timber Company on the timber removal located on Wild Avenue. Extension granted.

Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil reported the cost of the clean-up on South Main Street. He reported the contractor was requesting an additional $2,500.00 over the original bid price of $6,000.00 due to the excessive amount of material that had been hidden by the growth. Request denied. Interstate Towing had a $600.00 invoice charge for their help and Mr. Sullivan reported the city had approximately $8,000.00 invested to cover the pay for his department and the police departments help. It was determined to send the property owner a bill for total amount. If not paid within 30 days, place lien against property.

Mr. McNeil asked to clear up any outstanding problems on the Old Greenville Road and shoot to do that property next. Attorney Hartley will work with Bobby.

Grant writer Cara Stallman requested the council reject the generator bids submitted due to some glitches. She requested the bids be let again. Approved unanimously.

Five invoices were presented for approval. 3 of the invoices were from Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood and were approved unanimously. There was no addressing of an invoice submitted by Attorney Richard Nix or from Valbridge Property Advisors.

Economic Developer Bobby Skipper requested approval of 2 change orders for the park concession stand. One for an environmental permit on water runoff for $10,542.00 and another for performance bonds $3,484.00. Motion passed with 4 ayes, 1 nay from Councilperson Upton.

Mr. Skipper requested approval of J Pierce invoice for $6,800.00 and for change order $2,450.00. Approved by unanimous vote.

Superintendent Sullivan asked the council why he was not in charge of the park project and volunteered to take over. The council approved Mr. Sullivan assuming the park project.

Mr. Skipper talked of the progress being made by the developer dealing with the old Robinson Building. Power poles will be relocated and other items.

Mr. Skipper also requested the council have a work session on 12 November dealing with finalizing the old Gerber building inbound company. This will be in council chambers at 6 PM.

Ms. Stallman announced the city has received a $450,000.00 sewer grant. Ms. Stallman also announced there would be a meeting in Montgomery on the 19th and 20th and a city council member must attend. This is a meeting to talk to the different cities about the grants they have received.

Committee Reports:

Council person Upton announced the DAV will be presenting a Veterans Day program at the monument on Monday, 11 November. It will start at 10:15 AM and the featured speaker is former Lyeffion resident, now retired USA Colonel Ellis Golson.

Mr. Sullivan talked of the resurfacing project from Liberty Hill to Hwy. 31. He said the contract was set as a “delayed start” contract. The cost factor can be lowered should the contractor get another job in this area. The city will be required to post 20% of the cost factor when the work begins.

Old Business:

The payment by vendor report was approved by unanimous vote.

Love’s 12th quarter payment of $40,731.42 approved.

An ordinance for weed, debris and unsafe buildings was tabled based on attorney Hartley’s recommendation.

Superintendent Darrell Davis discussed an SRF Grant. His recommendation is, submit another one. Approved.

Mr. Davis advised the council 3 wells need chlorine monitors. $11,000.00 cost. Approved.

Mr. Davis noted a transfer switch at well #4 needed replacing. Cost $2,200.00. Approved.

Mr. Davis advised of sewer issues on North Main, South Main and Magnolia. He told the council of old sewer lines running through various properties and asked how their removal should be handled. Attorney Hartley advised the city could do no work on private property. The Magnolia Avenue project is replacing lines. Approximately 1000 feet of line to be replaced. No cost estimate at this time.

The municipal prisoner contract with the sheriff’s department is due again. Mayor Wolff is working with Commissioner Andrews to resolve.

A resolution to finance 4 police Tahoes for the city police department using BB&T was approved.

Approval of Resurfacing of Industrial Park Road estimate was approved.

It was approved for City Hall to be closed on Veterans Day, 11 November and Thanksgiving observance 28 & 29 November.

Economic Development Director Bobby Skipper announced new wholesale water contracts had been approved. Basically this equates to an agreement between the city and the rural water authorities on the cost of water supplied to them. Superintendent Davis recommended this agreement be revisited during any city water increases. Attorney Hartley strongly recommended the city adopt this suggestion.

A travel expense report for Allison Gessner, Police department, was approved for $28.52.

Meeting Adjourned at 6:55 PM.

Next meeting 19 November.

Just In General 19 Oct. 2013

Just sitting around today thinking of how I'm gonna celebrate my birthday tomorrow and just how things have gone recently.

They have just been squirrely for so long now it seems as each day is a new challenge to get through. The normal person would collapse from the pressure I respond to on a minute by minute basis.

It all started some time ago but as of late every time I make a move a couple of particular individuals seem to want to have me arrested for any and everything. Is this a concentrated effort to try and make me stop looking for wrongdoing or just to try and shut me up?

They are a fine group at twisting, turning and placing things in the light they want it to be seen in. They are willing to step to any level in order to publish some form of bad publicity on me and our weekly newspaper seems to welcome these inputs.

This same group undertakes to smear and ruin any reputation a person may have and anything decent done in life. Truth means nothing to these people. Facebook is one of the main items they like to use and they really attempt to do it well. What a shame they can't or won't channel those efforts toward correcting things wrong in our county and make things better for those at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

When I was arrested in April on the phony interference with child custody complaint there's my picture on the front page, BIG HEADLINES. We proceed through to the grand jury hearing (keep in mind the grand jury only hears the prosecution's side of the story, nothing from the defense) and I get indicted and "Bam", there we are front page news again, BIG HEADLINES. The front page story makes me out to be an ogre however a little farther into the paper there's an article where anyone wishing to have a Veterans Day program at the monument this year, please contact me. On the back page at the end of the news column dealing with wrecks and fires, there's my name again as the contact point to call if anyone needs clothing or assistance. I'm led to believe I must be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type persona.

Let us keep in mind there were 49 other true bills returned, including murder, vehicular homicide, 9 people who did not register on the sex offender registar, 1 person was charged and billed on a sexual abuse count AND assault on a minor. Makes my horrendous crime of taking 2 abandon children to their mother pale in comparison doesn't it? NO. WHY?

Well, out of the deep blue sea and sky combo it finally dawned on me.

They are using my reputation to sell newspapers!!!!

Others are jealous of things I've done that they can and will never be able achieve and want to try and tear me down to their level. That's why these things are front page news and Facebook relish.

I had never really thought of it in that manner yet what else could it be?

I think I may just have to adopt that Facebook statement about not giving anyone permission to use any of my writings, pictures or other memorabilia without my express written consent.

The way things are going, I could make a small fortune by charging for these actions.

Tomorrow dawns a new day and the sun don't shine on the same dogs backside everyday. Let's see what it brings.

Conecuh County Commission mtg. 28 Oct 13

Meeting called to order by Chairman Andrews at 5 PM, prayer by Mr. Foshee followed by the pledge of allegiance. Roll call showed all commissioners on hand. The agenda was approved as printed. The minutes for the previous meeting were approved also. Payroll/personnel claim showed Mr. Killebrew was separated 16 October. She retired from County service. There were 7.5 hours of overtime attributed to the jail. Under claims there were none over the limit. All other claims were vote to be paid. Repton Mayor Carter came before the commission again asking for $125,000.00 for improvements to Repton. She stated she, Mayor Jackson from Castleberry and Wolff from Evergreen had come before the commission during budget hearings asking for this amount and it had not been programmed into the budget. She stated (again) the Code of Alabama and an Attorney General's opinion support her claim for this funding. County Attorney Bishop and Repton Attorney Albritton are both comfortable with this claim.

After some discussion Commissioner Hildreth made a motion the commission body contact the Attorney General for an opinion on this expenditure. Motion 2nd and passed unanimously. Engineer Foshee was next on the agenda and re-addressed the extended warranty on the new dump trucks. Purchasing the extended warranty was approved by unanimous vote. County Administrator Judy Covan had several items to come before the commission:

She suggested the commission approved the state recommended severe weather preparedness tax exempt holiday of 21 February-23 February 2014. Approved.

There is another opening at the Conecuh Human Resources board. It has been recommended Ms. Lula Palmer receive this appointment to take effect in January. Approved. Complaints from the new director that it is difficult to hold a meeting because attendance is so bad. Suggested by Commissioner Cook that the board be looked at and measures taken to ensure those serving are residents of Conecuh and see what can be done to improve attendance. The new director has requested to be on the agenda for the next meeting.

Ms. Covan pointed out the next meeting is scheduled for a National Holiday, Veterans Day. It was decided to move the meeting to Tuesday, 12 November.

She has an invoice from J. M. Sims Consulting Firm in the total amount of $25,000.00. This is the fee charged in helping to acquire the Grant for Fire/E911 upgrades. This was a $1,000,000.00. The invoice is to be split into 2 equal payments of $12,500.00 each, due in November and December. This will be the final payment due. Approved.

The commissioners were made aware of an Attorney General opinion dealing with private cemeteries. The commission does not have the authority to determine home burial (private cemetery) policies.

On 13 November there is a coffee at the courthouse in Clarke County. All commissioners and some other government center personnel are invited.

The municipal prisoner contract is coming due. There was some discussion as to the adequacy of the current contract and it was suggested the chairman talk to Mayor Wolff about the additional cost being encountered. Currently 1st day or portion thereof is $45.00 and $40.00 per day afterward.

Bids will be let for the fencing at the animal shelter. County Attorney Bishop advised the commission on the proper way to vacate the old road known as the Burnt Corn Road. Motion to start procedure passed. Motion to go into executive session to discuss good name and character of an individual made and approved at 5:54 PM.

Return from executive session at 6:35 PM. Action taken after resuming normal session, vote to extend the emergency hire at the animal shelter for an additional 60 days. Pay rate $8.36 per hour. Passed. Motion to adjourn at 6:40 PM with emergency E911 executive session to follow. No action will be taken

Conecuh County Commission Work Session 28 Oct 2013 Meeting called to order at 3 PM. District One Commissioner Hildreth absent

Mr. Sid Lambert with Animal Shelter was first out of the gate. He announced the shelter was maxed out on animals and could take no more. 24 Dogs/19 cats.

He requested the commission take action on an additional 9 runs and fencing. He said this was essential to keep the large and small animals separated. He also said it would help in keeping the animals confined. 3 animals escaped last month. It was suggested a motion to accept bids be made during commission regular session.

His state licenses were mailed last Friday; his apprenticeship with Dr. Noble is completed.

Mr. Lambert said a stainless steel table was needed for the shelter. Commissioner Cook supposedly has one and will deliver it to the shelter. Chairman Andrews said the shelter had a stainless table but it had disappeared with a former employee.

The building’s roof was discussed next. Has been leaking for a while. Some discussion as to whether to do a quick fix (good for 5-8 years) or do a permanent fix. As of now there are no estimates given. Waiting on Mr. Covin to take a look and report. There is also a drainage problem brought on by the gutters being in a sad state. This should be taken care of with roof repair.

Lambert reported the computer was an ongoing situation. There is on 1-2 weeks left before the timeframe for the product key expires. Unsure what will happen then.

There have been 2 Jefferson Davis Junior College students asking to volunteer to complete their requirements for community service. Asked for guidance from commissioners as to how to handle.

Facebook page has been established for the animal shelter. Doctors Molnar and Gibson from Auburn Center for Government Services spoke next about what their organization could do to help the county with websites and possible incoming businesses. County Engineer Foshee gave one more report on the dump trucks extended warranty program. His recommendation is to go with the one year extension at a cost of $1,300.00 per truck, a total of $9,100.00. This program has a $500.00 deductible. His recommendation is, plan to roll the trucks out as they approach or achieve 3 years of in service. This is to be addressed during the regular session.

Mr. Foshee addressed the call out situation once more. Attorney Bishop advised the commission they could handle the pay pretty much as they wanted, going from regular pay to establishing a pay under a different name (call out pay, etc.). They could offer an increased amount if they so desired. As it stands now, overtime can only be paid after worker gets 40 hour week. Suggestion that someone check and see what procedures the state employees follow in this situation. Ms. Booker, current E911 Director gave a report on a training course she recently attended. She also reported on the repair cost associated with a suspected lightning strike. Generator repair, $2,010.00, recorder needed $2,087.00. She also reported surge suppressors have been purchased at a cost of $404.00 each.

She request an audit and inventory be updated ASAP considering she wishes to know exactly what is on hand as she moves into the new supervisor position.

She stated there had been no quote sought out for the camera and gate repair as Mr. Foshee was investigating the gate problem in an attempt to fix locally.

Ms. Booker reported that it was stressed at the conference update that everything is going digital and E911 must start working toward it immediately. Working session ended approximately 4:30 PM.

Special Commission Meeting

24 October 2013

The Conecuh County commission body meet at 8:30 AM for a work session prior to voting on an issue. 9 AM Call to order. Evergreen Economic Director was on hand to brief the commission body about the needs of an upcoming company "Evergreen Wood Products." The company has asked for a temporary loan (until 31 December 2013) to assist in preparing and having ready the plant formerly known as the old Gerber Plant. The city and county have bent over backwards in attempting to accommodate this group. Here's hoping they hold up their end of the bargain. Meeting Adjourned 9:03

Evergreen City Council

meet 23 Oct 2013 in a special called session. Only 2 items were on the agenda. Mayor Wolff called the meeting to order at 5:15 PM with opening prayer by Mike Lanier. Items before the city council were" to pass a resolution dealing with a situation with the bond issues for the utility system upgrade coming to Evergreen. Item two was a recommendation the city accept the settlement offer from Darrell Davis case.Both issues received unanimous votes from the council. Meeting adjourned 5:34 PM.

City Council 15 October 2013

Public hearing for cost analysis construction estimate pertaining to CDBG grant for sewer upgrade project conducted prior to council meeting. There were no objections raise. Council meeting called to order by Mayor Wolff at 6:15 PM. Delayed start time in hopes the city attorney would be on hand to make reports, provide guidance and cover legal advice aspects. Mr. Lanier gave the invocation, roll call showed all members present. There were no visitors during the informal session. The agenda was approved as published. Mayor Wolff gave the following report:

Everything should be in by Friday to allow movement to go forward on Grocery Store. Mayor will announce over the radio when completed.

Evergreen Wood Products plant is moving forward well.

Mayor Wolff requested council permission to make a trip to Colorado should the gun manufacture planning to make the move to Evergreen call for a meeting. Granted unanimous vote. Accounts payable and previous minutes were approved. Old Business:

Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil request permission to engage in a contract for trash, debris removal and clean up at the property located on South Main Street. Mr. McNeil reported the contract will do the job for $6,000.00. The city can get this bill lowered by $500.00-600.00 if they will agree to remove the brush and bushes. Approved by unanimous vote to allow contractor to move forward. Committee Reports:

Economic Development Officer Bobby Skipper advised the concession stand construction at the baseball field should start within the week.

Council person Miller ask what the city could do about extending the road that goes in front of Dr. Roberts office? Seems that extension may involve private property. To be looked into further. New Business:

Payment to Robbies Dozer Service in the amount of $20,456.75 for Fairview Commons Drive. Final payment. Approved.

ATRIP warrant for South Main Street was approved. City's match portion is $107,907.29. It was asked if the bridge near the church was to be widened. Yes. Approved.

Travel expenses for Officer Wright in the amount of $82.56 was approved.

Ms. Cara Stallman requested permission to move forward with the grant application for the sewer project. approved.

It was approved for Mayor Wolff to handle the SWLA agreement when presented. Adjourn: 6:30 PM

Next meeting 5 November 2013

18 October 2013

I'm sorry it's taken me a while to get this posted but I've been a little busy battling gnats.I posted this near the report of the Commission meeting of 14 October. I have my opinion on what I read into this, I'm not in the debate format so you read and make your own determination if the county tax payers monies should be spent in the manner requested at the commission meeting.These are the references quoted by Mayor Carter and Attorney Albritton saying the county commission is empowered and allowed to give $125,000.00 to the city of Repton. Remember, it was also stated that Castleberry would be coming with the same request. I'm sure you can expect Evergreen to do the same.The below section of the Code of Alabama supposedly contains the required authority for the commission to be able to do this.Section11-3-11Powers and duties generally.(a) The county commission shall have authority: (19) To set aside, appropriate, and use county funds or revenues for the purpose of developing, advertising, and promoting the agricultural, mineral, timber, water, labor, and all other resources of every kind of the county and for the purpose of locating and promoting agricultural, industrial, and manufacturing plants, factories, and other industries in the county. The county commission is authorized to enter into contracts with any person, firm, corporation, or association to carry out the purposes set forth in this subdivision.Following is the AG opinion 2005-041 quoted as a precedence to give away the tax payers monies.

Honorable Hobson Manasco, Jr.

Winston County Attorney

Post Office Box 310

Haleyville, Alabama 35565-0310 Private Property – Roads, Highways and Bridges – Municipalities – County Commissions – Public Purpose – Industrial Development The Winston County Commission, under section 11-3-11(19) of the Code of Alabama, can provide materials and in-kind services to the City of Haleyville to assist in preparing a roadway on private property to promote industry by preventing the potential loss of industry and jobs in the city. The county commission must also determine that a public purpose will be served and a public benefit is provided by furnishing the services and materials. Dear Mr. Manasco: This opinion of the Attorney General is issued in response to your request on behalf of the Winston County Commission.

QUESTIONS (1) Can the Winston County Commission provide materials and in-kind services to the City of Haleyville to assist in preparing a roadway on private property to prevent the potential loss of an industry and jobs in the city if the county has deemed the need a “public purpose”? (2) Can the Winston County Commission provide materials and in-kind services to the City of Haleyville to assist in preparing a roadway on private property to prevent the potential loss of an industry and jobs in the city if the city has deemed the need a “public purpose” to insure the prosperity and general welfare of the community? 

FACTS AND ANALYSIS Your request states as follows: WHEREAS, the City of Haleyville has requested that Winston County provide base for a road and paving inside the gate of Project Maverick in connection with an expansion of the manufacturing facility of Project Maverick and the creation of additional jobs and employment (approximately 40 jobs). . . . Section 11-3-11(a)(19) of the Code of Alabama authorizes a county, among other things, “[t]o set aside, appropriate and use county funds . . . for the purpose of locating and promoting agricultural, industrial and manufacturing plants and other industries in the county. . . .” ALA. CODE § 11-3-11(a)(19) (1989). The Attorney General has concluded that a local government can only expend public funds to improve private property if the governing body of the local government first determines that a public purpose will be met by the expenditure. Opinion of the Attorney General to Honorable John Harrison, Director, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, dated February 3, 2003, A.G. No. 2003-074. This conclusion was based on the ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama in Slawson v. Ala. Forestry Comm’n, 631 So. 2d 953 (1994). Section 94 of the Constitution of Alabama, as amended by Amendment 558, prohibits the Legislature from empowering a municipality, county, or other subdivision of the State from granting public money or any other thing of value in aid of an individual, corporation, or association. ALA. CONST. art IV, §94; ALA. CONST. amend 558. The Alabama Supreme Court stated in Slawson that section 94, as amended, is not violated when a public purpose is served by the granting of money or other thing of value to an individual, corporation, or association. Slawson at 956. The Court set down the following guidelines as to what constitutes a “public purpose”:Quoting Clifford v. City of Cheyenne, 487 P.2d 1325, 1329 (Wyo.1971), we stated that, generally speaking, a public purpose "has for its objective the promotion of public health, safety, morals, security, prosperity, contentment, and the general welfare of the community." 384 So.2d at 1053 (citations omitted). "The paramount test should be whether the expenditure confers a direct public benefit of a reasonably general character, that is to say, to a significant part of the public, as distinguished from a remote and theoretical benefit. . . . The trend among the modern courts is to give the term 'public purpose' a broad expansive definition." Id.Slawson, 631 at 956, quoting Clifford at 1329. The question of whether an appropriation is for a public purpose is largely within the legislative domain. Id. It is, therefore, a determination to be made by the Winston County Commission as to whether a public purpose is served if the county provides materials and in-kind services to the City of Haleyville to assist in preparing a roadway on private property to prevent the potential loss of industry and jobs in the city. The county commission is to decide if providing materials and services for a private business, under the circumstances presented, provides a public benefit, as opposed to a benefit for only a particular group of individuals. This Office concluded that the City of Hartselle could donate land or lease land for less than adequate consideration to a private business only if the city decided that a public purpose would be served. Opinion to Honorable Clifton P. Knight, Mayor, City of Hartselle, dated May 24, 2001, A.G. No. 2001-187. The courts have held, however, as a matter of law, if the sole reason for the expenditure is for the creation or increase of tax revenue for the city, a public purpose is not served. Opinion of the Justices No. 119, 254 Ala. 343, 346, 48 So. 2d 757, 759 (1950); Opinion to Knight at 3.

CONCLUSION The Winston County Commission, under section 11-3-11(19) of the Code of Alabama, can provide materials and in-kind services to the City of Haleyville to assist in preparing a roadway on private property to promote industry by preventing the potential loss of industry and jobs in the city. The county commission must also determine that a public purpose will be served and a public benefit is provided by furnishing the services and materials. I hope this opinion answers your questions. If this Office can be of further assistance, please contact Brenda F. Smith of my staff.Sincerely,TROY KING

Attorney General


Chief, Opinions Division It's is yours to read and determine. The statement of materials and in-kind service does not equate to money.

Commission 14 Oct. 2013

Sorry it’s so late getting to the site. 3 hour meeting. 

Commission Mtg. 14 Oct 2013

Called to order at 9 AM by Chairman Andrews, followed by prayer from Repton Mayor Carter. Pledge of allegiance, roll call (all present), approval of the agenda and approval of the previous minutes with on amendment. Payroll/personnel report showed 1 new hire as Jail C. O., 1 new hire (temporary) at probate office and 1 separation from the jail. There were 23 hours of overtime for the sheriff’s department. Claims approval: 6 claims over the $500.00 board limit in the general fund. No claims over the board limit of $3000.00 in the gasoline fund. Approved unanimously. Ms. Mary Moncrease, Castleberry concerned citizen came before the commission to ask for help in getting East Railroad Street in a condition whereby they could make it to their church after rainy days. Ms. Moncrease said the road becomes so impassable that they have actually had to schedule funerals at a different facility behind rains. She advised Mr. Andrews this was in his district and they have struggled to get something done for the past 8 years. Mr. Andrews tasked Engineer Foshee to investigate and report. Mr. Bobby Skipper, Evergreen Economic Director came before the commission with the following:

Weyerhaeuser: As of now, Weyerhaeuser is asking the property agreement considered earlier by the state, Weyerhaeuser and county be acted upon now. The Governor’s office ask the commission to move on the agreement as of now. The "approved" version of the agreement by all parties is, the county furnishes $50,000.00 incentives and the state furnish $150,000.00. This is to be paid in 2 installments dependent upon Weyerhaeuser meeting certain employment goals. They have a certain time limit to reach a goal of 75 employees and the next goal is 150 employees. First goal of 75 must be met by December of 2015 and the next goal of 150 by December 2017. Weyerhaeuser must attain these goals to trigger the package from both county and state. Commissioner Millender expresses concerns about the delay in paperwork getting to the commission. He said he had found the paperwork to this in his mail box this morning and he personally felt the commissioners needed time to review it before being brought to a vote. Motion to approve payment by Hildreth, 2nd by Cook. Motion carried.

Currently there are some "minor" problems putting the plant back on line. One of the major issues is the waste system. Seems the old system has pretty much collapsed over the time the plant has been idle. It was also reported there is a problem with the company being able to gain proper insurance due to the lack of dedicated security and fire protection. Sheriff Booker was on hand and said he could handle the security if needed. Considering all our fire departments are volunteer, some agreement will be needed to work out there. Mr. Skipper spoke on the Evergreen Wood Products Company scheduled to move into the old Gerber building. The company has asked for advance money to start up and do property improvements. At the last city council meeting a resolution was passed for this monetary advance in the amount of $175,000.00. Mr. Skipper asked the commission to do the same, and requested they act on it at today’s meeting. This money will be funneled through the Industrial Development Board (IDB) which will "guarantee" repayment in the event of default. When questioned by Commissioner Millender about what monies the IDB has, it was noted they have none but they do hold the property which they can use as collateral for repayment.

Commissioner Cook made a motion to approve the resolution for the $175,000.00 stating that this is but one "small" step in the ultimate big picture. After several minutes more talk, the motion died due to a lack of a 2nd. Mr. Andrews announced this would be looked at again at the next meeting. Chairman Andrews recognized Repton Mayor Carter and attorney Albriton next. Mayor Carter spoke on the cities of Repton, Castleberry and Evergreen having come before the commission during budget hearings in an attempt to have monies set aside in the budget for various things within the municipalities. At that time the efforts of her, J. B. Jackson and Pete Wolff were turned down. Mayor Carter has returned stating "they" have found certain rulings and opinions that the county can indeed support their request for funds. She quoted Code of Alabama 11-3-11(19) as giving the county authority to allow these funds. She also quoted Attorney General Opinion 2005-041 as another indication funding can be allowed. Ms. Carter says the city request $125,000.00 with action taken immediately so the funds will be available prior to the end of October. The purposed use of these funds are to:

1. Continue the downtown beautification project.

2. Establish a Welcome Center for Repton.

3. Erect a Resource Center where adult citizens can mingle with each other, put computers in this area so young people will be able to gain online access.

4. Purchase property for a Farmers Market. Mayor Carter also informed the commission Castleberry and Evergreen would also appear before them with the same request. Commissioner Millender stated he had been in contact with the Alabama Association of County Commissioners and had been informed by them this was a highly questionable thing for the commission to undertake. After more discussion Commissioner Cook makes a motion to allow Repton to have the funds. After a very long pause Commissioner Hildreth asked Ms. Carter if she would mind if they tabled this request till next meeting allowing him time to research this. Chairman Andrews told Mr. Hildreth that could not be done; there was a motion on the floor. Commissioner Cook immediately withdrew his motion and allowed Commissioner Hildreth to make a motion to table until next meeting. Motion carried. Revenue Commissioner Jimmy Bell came before the commission to give a report on the property appraiser trainee’s progress (as required). The trainee must me certain criteria to advance and receive additional pay. The commission stated the reports must be turned in to Ms. Covan for record purposes and upon satisfactory notice from these reports, the trainee would receive the next level of pay. EMA Director Johnny Brock stated his office had received a check in the amount of $1,078.00, which is a continuing payment across the year typically resulting in the county receiving around $40,000.00 in payments. Mr. Brock also said the grant for the hazardous mitigation plan was awarded in the amount of $20,625.00. This grant requires a match. County Engineer Foshee was next. Mr. Foshee talked of the bids opened at the last meeting and tabled until this one. There had been a question as to what grade fuel (ethanol or non-ethanol) had been ordered. Mr. Foshee said the bid was for non-ethanol which would cost approximately $.10 per gallon more. His recommendation was to accept the current bid and allow him to transition to ethanol style gas over the coming year. Approved He asked for permission to send out bid request for the excavator. The county has programmed to purchase a new one. Mr. Foshee said it would be a benefit for him to hold onto the old excavator until spring time and use it as an in position tool for some of the road work now being done. He asked the commissioners to allow him programmed use of the excavator on Wednesday's and Thursday's if possible. That would require them to do all their dirt hauling on Monday's and Tuesday's. It was decided this required no vote. The excavator would be made available as could be. It was noted the county is now hauling dirt from the A. D. Clark pit. It's a strong mixture of good red dirt and gravel. The on-call status of county road personnel was addressed again. Again it was tabled until legal issues around it are resolved. Mr. Foshee asked the commission to establish a policy to give guidance as to dirt road paving projects. He suggested a point system with some items being: number of houses on road, amount of travel on road, churches on road, businesses on road, etc. He also asked were the roads to be paved on a "by district" move or on a county wide mode. Nothing was settled on this discussion. It was noted that on the ATRIP projects DOT normally would help with engineering. Will all the ATRIP projects in work, they are unable to help. Mr. Foshee said he has Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood on call for any needs. The Liberty Hill (Old Burnt Corn Road) right-of-way paperwork needs to be reviewed and completed by attorney Bishop. The name over the David Burt Building is deteriorating. Mr. Foshee has examined it and determined it is Styrofoam. He has a company that will redo the name for approximately $450.00. This was approved by the commission. County Administrator Judy Covan was next on the agenda. She had several items: She spoke of the equipment financing for the side cutter. Total cost $122,000.00. 3 year plan at 2.14%. The 15 pickups for the engineering department, 5 year contract, 2.24%. The excavator, Delta Computer Support agreement, elevator contract and several others were brought forth. Ms. Covan stated she had 7 claims from the sheriff's office to be paid, all totaling $1,071.18. This was a re-imbursement to the sheriff's department. Motion to pay passed. Based on the new gun laws of Alabama it was recommended "No Gun" signs be placed at, on or near, in a conspicuous place, all buildings and facilities. Motion passed unanimously. It was discussed that some of the old pickups from the engineering department be given to the animal shelter and the maintenance person. Mr. Bobby Skipper returned to the commission chambers asking the commission not to list the dissention on the motion to pay the Evergreen Wood Products motion to pay the advance funds. He also asked the commission to schedule a work session and meeting for 22 October. (It was unclear what this was in conjunction with and Mr. Skipper left before it could be straightened out. Chairman Andrews will contact Skipper and let the commission know what is going on.) Attorney Anthony Bishop was on hand for an executive session concerning pending litigation. Has received complaint from Daniel Addison. Mr. Bishop states the filling on the complaint is improperly done. Executive session 11:25 Regular session 11:50 no action to be taken from executive session. No media comments, motion to adjourn Adjourn: 11:55 AM

9 October 2013

At a 10 AM meeting in the commission chambers this morning an ATRIP status report press release was provided. ATRIP is a state sponsored program that provides funding to Alabama Counties for the upkeep and improvement of what is considered "major" collector roads within the county. This money is provided to the counties with no paybacks however, the counties are required to put up a 20% match. Conecuh is duly and truly blessed in the fact we are blessed with the oil monies. Because of this, we have been able to meet our 20% match without having to dig for financing or borrowing the funds. Overall miles to receive a resurfacing is 133 miles. That includes 2 city streets. 3 miles of Wild Avenue and Main Street will be resurfaced. Enclosure titled 2013 ATRIP Program will show which roads will receive an upgrade and which bridges are in store for repairs. Total money from the grant fact is $12,927,000.00. The matching funds for this amount is $3,231,750.00 resulting in a total of $16,158,750.00. Again, Conecuh is truly blessed with the oil revenues. Without that we would not have been able to petition for and receive this amount of money.

City Council 8 Oct 201​3

Call to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff, prayer offered by Lee Peacock. All members present for roll call. There were no visitors during the informal session. The agenda was approved. Mayor’s report: Mayor Wolff reported on his and Mr. Skipper’s trip to New York. Everything seems to be going well. The bond issue is simply waiting on a credit rating from Standard and Poor’s. While there they took time out to have a conversation with representatives of Target Corporation. Never hurts to see folks face to face. The issue with the 36401 zip code referencing to Burnt Corn is a major stumbling block. It has been determined Halloween with be on 31 October from 5:30-7:30 P.M. and will be conducted on a door to door basis. Some discussion developed over safety issues for the children. Last year children were darting into the street without looking. When all the smoke cleared, this year will be a door to door situation, folks will be cautioned to try and use the newly laid sidewalks. Additional lighting is being installed at King’s Crossing. Unsure what the ultimate end is to this lighting. Wait and see. The property purchased by Lewis of Lewis Pest Control is under renovation at this time. The city will be moving the storm shelter near city hall and will acquire the area to put it in. Paperwork is in progress on this now. A review of Accounts Payable, Income/Expense Report and previous minutes were approved by unanimous vote. Old Business: A formal agreement between ALDOT and the city for ATRIP project to resurface County Road 42 (the Brooklyn Road and South Main Street) was approved by unanimous vote. A formal approval of Area Agency on Aging for FY 2014 grant procedure and agreement was approved. Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil has action moving forward in an attempt to make headway on both North and South Main Streets. He has spoken to the owner of the property on Chapman Street and advised them the council had condemned that property. The owner stated they had purchased material for repairs and were getting them underway ASAP. Don’t know how that’s going to shakeout. Mr. McNeil requested the council give him permission to seek bids for an outside contractor to assist in removing and cleaning up of property condemned by the council. It was also recommended any interested persons come before the council an make an offer on what they would need to do the clean-up. Mr. Bob Carter with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood provided the council with bids to do the resurfacing of North Main Street. Low bidder was Wiregrass Construction with a bid of $249,399,75. Mayor Wolff suggested to the council they hold off on this project until the city is more solvent. Motion to withdraw made and passed unanimously. Committee Reports: Council Person Skinner asked about permits for the construction at the park. It was announced the permit had come back today. Heavy duty construction should be underway within 2 weeks per Economic Director Bobby Skipper. Superintendent Sullivan stated the Fairview Commons Drive had been completed and recommended final payment. Mr. Sullivan discussed some mowing procedures that had taken place at the airport. Several bales of hay are on hand. To be addressed in new business. Economic Director Skipper talked with the council about establishing a local Labor Board to accept applications for impending jobs. By having the local labor board on hand, local applications will be readily viewable by potential business entities and would serve Conecuh Citizens better. Mr. Skipper asked the council to approve a resolution to go forward with all the impending upgrades to city utilities to include needed software etc. This is dependent on Attorney Staples approval. New Business: The September 2013 Payment by vendor report was approved. Quality of life award as per the League of Municipalities’ was discussed. Councilperson Upton desires to put the Veterans Monument in and see if Evergreen, Conecuh can receive recognition for this project. Chief of Police Simpson came before the council to ask for 4 new Tahoe vehicles and 4 new officers. He said his department has operated for more than 4 years behind on people and vehicles. He has gone to the Gov bid list and came back with a price of roughly$26,000.00 per vehicle. Request approved by unanimous vote. Chief Simpson also informed the Mayor and Council that CSX railway systems can no longer hold trains for parades and other occasions. He suggested the council consider an alternate route for parades that could possibly eliminate crossing the tracks. Chief Simpson showed a new, updated version of a personnel manual for his department. He hopes to provide the council with a completed model soon for their approval. Superintendent Sullivan approached the council with a request to declare the old outdated city signs as surplus property along with several bales of hay. Permission granted to take bids. Mr. Sullivan informed the council that he had been approached by a local businessman about taking care of the mowing at the airport. The businessman is interested in entering into a long term contract whereby he would take care of mowing, disking, leveling, fertilizing and planting a respectable form of Bahia grass. This businessman states he will bear the expense of all improvements provided the lease agreement is accepted by the city. No brainer. Currently cost the city approximately$6,000.00 per mowing and is mowed 3 times per year. Yea, hard decision. Economic Director Skipper ask the council to pass a reimbursement resolution concerning an advance funding by both city and county to do improvements to the building a “high” profile company plans to move into. Mr. Skipper assures this money will be reimbursed by December. A motion to approve was forwarded with the understanding that Attorney Hartley must approve all contents prior to ultimate approval. Mr. Skipper assured that 90% of bids needed for the impending grocery store were complete and the last one should be in by the end of the week. Construction is imminent!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unless something else happens??????? Travel Expenses were approved for the following:  Jeff Sullivan, meals while in Attalla $19.24 James Ammons, police officer, round trip travel to Montgomery: $55.38 Brandon Lizabelle, meal for court trip to Opp $20.39 Attempting to set up a meeting between City Council and County Commission to discuss business growth. Motion to adjourn at 7:05 PM

City Council 17 Sept 13       Water Rate increase

Called to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff, prayer by Mike Lanier followed by roll call. All members present.

Mr. Mike West came before the council in the informal session. He presented to the council a warranty insurance program whereby the citizens may purchase a policy that will cover the cost of repairs from water meters to their house for a cost of $5.50. For $6.50, residents can purchase a policy that will cover their sewage system

Policy limit are $4000.00 per occurrence. Should a sidewalk have to be moved, an additional $500.00 payment will be made. Should the water or sewer line be on the opposite side of the road, up to $4,000.00 more will be available. No residency will be denied regardless of the buildings age. A $1.00per costumer will be turned back to the city just for allowing the company to cover the city of Evergreen. The policy may be terminated at the policy-holders discretion

The city has no financial obligations for the program which will use local certified repair personnel. The council voted to accept this program based on a favorable review of Attorney Hartley.

The agenda was approved as written.

Mayor’s comments:

Mayor Wolff, Grant Writer Stallman and Mr. Bob Carter traveled to Montgomery and met with Mr. Jim Baird, director of economics/community affairs. They were on a quest for any type of funding available to help keep us on a roll.

Mayor Wolff announced that Alabama Power is planning to install charging stations for electric vehicles. They are looking at hotel/motel areas first but nothing is to be discounted. These charging stations are for the new wave of electric vehicles coming on the scene.

The Mayor cautioned everyone to be geared up and ready for a busy month in October. The Air Show, Sausage Fest and Halloween are all coming up.

A review of accounts payable, income/expense report and minutes of the previous meeting were all meet with unanimous votes of approval.

Old Business:

Grant Writer Cara Stallman said the city has grant approval for 2 generator systems to replace those in use now. There is an80KW and 100KW diesel generator bid specks draw up. Ms. Stallman suggest the council let out the bid request, and open the received bids on 17 October at 10 AM. Ms. Stallman also ask she be allowed a$2,500.00 draw of her pay for this grant. All approved by unanimous vote.

Ms. Stallman spoke on the already approved grant for the safe room. Currently the only recognized area to install the safe room is at Simcor. She suggested the city request a meeting with the hazardous mitigation office and ask for permission to change locations.

There are 76 jobs currently projected to come in. It is strongly suggested the city submit an economic development application. ADECA will give grants on this program with the city having a 25% match. ADECA recommends applying for a $500,000.00 grant for a start. There will be a public hearing held 15 October at 5:30 PM, ½ hour before the council meeting. This must be advertised for at least one week prior to the hearing. All these actions met with council approval.

Committee Reports:

Councilperson Upton stated that himself and several others met last Friday with Guyoung Tech management. Mr. Upton is firmly convinced that Evergreen is at the top of the list to get new industry from GuYoung Tech.

It was noted that Ms. Carol Reed recently left her job with the Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Reed was sent to a school to help her fit into her job at the Chamber and signed an agreement to repay the money it cost the city should she leave her position before two years. Ms. Reed will receive an invoice from the city asking for repayment.

New Business:

Payment By Vendor Report approved.

Based on a study conducted by Barry Staples with Maynard, Cooper and Gale, P.C., the city must raise water and sewer rates to be able to float the bond issue for the new meters and computers discussed several months back. I will post a copy of the proposed cost and other city studies.

The Ala-Tom Regional Commission Annual Membership dues of $1,380.40 were approved by unanimous vote.

Travel expense report for City Clerk Becky Robinson was approved.

Cash advance to Helen Wiggins to attend conference was approved.

A motion to close Conecuh Regional Capital Improvement Cooperative District Special Obligation Bonds was approved. This puts money back into the city and county.

Motion to recess and reconvene in executive session approved at 6:40 PM.

Reconvened in regular session at 6:50 PM.

Motion to allow Attorney Hartley to settle a lawsuit if possible approved.

Motion to appoint the council members to act as a whole body to study department head salaries and make a report.

6:55PM Motion to adjourn. City Water Cost Sewer Cost 3000 5000 6000 20000 3000 5000 6000 20000Atmore $14.00 $19.50 $22.25 $60.75 $31.86 $37.50 $40.32 $79.80

Brewton $14.50 $21.50 $25.00 $74.00 $21.00 $25.00 $27.00 $55.00Flornaton $17.86 $24.94 $28.48 $78.04 $24.48 $32.84 $37.02 $95.54Monroeville $21.77 $27.61 $30.53 $70.45 $7.83 $11.05 $12.66 $35.20Georgiana $23.00 $31.00 $35.00 $91.00 $23.00 $29.00 $3200 $74.00Opp $13.25 $16.75 $18.50 $49.00 $14.45 $19.25 $21.65 $55.25Andalusia $18.50 $20.50 $21.50 $35.50 $17.20 $20.00 $21.40 $41.00Greenville $22.63 $36.65 $43.66 $141.80 $20.10 $27.62 $31.38 $84.02Evergreen *$13.80 $18.90 $21.45 $54.15 $15.60 $18.00 $19.20 $36.00 Figures shown for Evergreen are current rates.




September 1.2, 2013 Average Monthly Bill

MunicipalityBased on average water usage of 6000 gallons per monthAverage Bill 1st figure: Water 2nd Figure Sewer


Brewton $25.00$27.00








Based on the 6000 gallon per month usage, this will result in an approximate $22.00 permonth increase.

If you need to use the bathroom, go to Opp, cheapest rates.

Castleberry City Council 10 September 2013

Meeting called to order by Mayor Jackson at 7 PM. Opening prayer by Councilperson Ball. Roll call was conducted showing Ms. Wolf being absent, and then the free for all began. The melee resembles more of an out of control town hall meeting than that of a city council meeting. The acoustics in the council room are terrible, couple that with everyone trying to talk at once and the council itself using low tones of voice one cannot tell what business is being done and what is not but if you listen closely all the juicy gossip is laid out. Next was the reading of the minutes. After the minutes were read Council person Palmer addressed some corrections that needed making and offered a motion the minutes be accepted after corrections. Passed by unanimous vote. Old Business: Mr. Ed Morris with Centel Engineering came before the council with an invoice of $32,610.00 for engineering work done by his firm on a feasibility study report dealing with a sanitary sewer report designed to assist in getting a USDA grant request. Mr. Morris explained that the town contracted with his firm on 20 April 2010 to conduct this study. On 27 May 2011 the preliminary study was completed and the report accepted. The total cost for sewer repair/upgrade was to be $6,230,000.00. The USDA would grant 75% of that amount and the town could secure a loan from them for the remaining amount. Mr. Morris went on to state that on 23 June2011 he and other representatives met at the town hall and advised the town they must run an ad in the paper for four weeks then hold a meeting for citizens input. It seems everything gets a little hazy from this point. The council argues that they either never attended such a meeting or never gave Centel Engineering permission to move on with the project. Mr. Morris argues that the newspaper advertising was a town matter only not requiring a vote to move forward. Either way it goes, the city placed the ad. Ultimately the city says they did not authorize the engineering firm to move forward and they want the invoice referred to their attorney for his review. Again, Mr. Morris stressed had the city accepted the grant there would have been no invoice from his company, their money would have been derived from the grant monies. Mr. Morris took his leave at that time, I’m sure there will be more to come. The next item for discussion was the electric bill, I heard several figures tossed about to include $6,437.33,$5,480.00 and $5,875.80. Seems there has been an overbilling in there somewhere.. Mayor Jackson speaks of automatic meter readers that are known to give false readings. The discussion swaps to water bills and there is a problem there. Someone named Eddie is responsible to the town to keep up the meters and provide software training and it seems Eddie will not respond to phone calls or does not show after promising. Ms. Palmer offers two motions, first motion, contact Eddie and have him come within ten days to conduct training on how to use the software and computer to do the water bills and, if he does not come, terminate his employment. Motion number two from Ms. Palmer is to increase the water deposit from $50 to $100 effective immediately. This pertains to new customers only. Both motions are properly seconded and passed. Council person Godwin ask if the pink slip, cut off notices are still being posted at residences. Response is, yes they are also, new locks have been purchased to ensure water meters can be cut off and not jimmied around. New Business: Police Chief Hawsey came before the council to discuss reserve officers again. He ask the reserve officer program be re-instated and he be allowed to place five reserve officers on the force. Reserves do not carry weapons or drive cars, they must purchase their own uniforms. There is no expense to the town. A question arose that should a volunteer get injured in the performance of their reserve duties would they be cover by the town’s workman’s comp? I believe a better question would be if they were covered under any type of hospital/medical insurance but that didn’t get asked. Chief Hawsey told the lady asking the question that he was unsure of the answer but he would find out. After more discussion Council person Palmer offered a motion that Chief Hawsey be allowed to select four persons to be members of his reserve force. Motion seconded. Chief Hawsey speaks of calls about dogs roaming free. He states he is aware of the dog ordinance passed by the council but says the attorney has stated there is no enough substance to the ordinance. Ms. Palmer says she is aware the county has hired a second person at the animal shelter but they still will not come out and pick up animals. One audience member ask if there was any kind of noise ordinance that barking dogs may fall under. Chief Hawsey said there was nothing in the noise ordinance dealing with dogs. Chief Hawsey had one more item to address, that of firearms in the town hall. He request the council pass a resolution banning firearms from the council chamber and town hall. Motion so made by Council person Ball, passed unanimously after being seconded. Christine Porter has been hired as apart-time police officer. It is duly noted he has six months to get his qualifications completed. The council request Mr. Porter show up for the next meeting for introductions. Motion made, seconded and passed to put Mr. Porter to work. The question of having the police car fully marked was brought by Council person Ball, to which Chief Hawsey replied the vehicle is marked. Council person Palmer forwarded a question and thought about having the Conecuh County School children have an opportunity to participate in marking the police car. Chief Hawsey advised the council that he had worked with the general manager of O’Reilly’s and they are sending the town a new engine for their old patrol car. Next discussion led into who will install it. Nothing was determined on that fact. Mayor Jackson asked if Cathy Thomas was in the audience. It was determined she was not. The mayor told the council Ms.Thomas had approached him about converting one of the houses in Castleberry and turn it into a 5 child care business. After discussion it was determined to table Ms. Thomas’s request until she had met all child care requirements leveed by the state. Mayor Jackson said he had been in meetings and conference with Weyerhaeuser Corp. dealing with their return to the local area. There are some problems in the plant area and decisions must be made as to whether or not they will spend the money for the water and sewage repairs that must be done. There is some question if they will be able to hook back to the sewage plant there or, in the alternative, can they hook into GuYoung Tech sewer lines. Ms. Palmer suggested the town may want to hold a job fair. The question was offered as to tax abatements for Weyerhaeuser. Development board. Mayor Jackson stated they voted last November to have a development board. He stated the town attorney was supposed to have taken it to Montgomery and now, 10months later, nothing. Also, the council voted on a $.01 sales tax and the attorney was to have prepared everything to set this in place, still nothing is done. Mayor Jackson had requested the attorney to get involved in the police car fiasco a few months back. Mr. Albritton had been told to contact the company and inform them if they did not cooperate a lawsuit was forthcoming. Nothing was done on that front either. Mayor Jackson continued to speak on the attorney’s failure to take actions. The mayor said he had been paid $12,000.00 and has done nothing. He is under contract for a retainer fee of $2,000.00. Anytime any phone calls are made to him he bills the town. Any other action, he bills the town. Mayor Jackson said that were the development board in place, it would be a great asset to the town, that they could use the development board to float bond issues, borrow money and other things to help entice business into the area. He spoke of the fact Evergreen has one already. Mayor Jackson said that should the attorney even attend a council meeting and listen to them talk, he charges $350.00. If a council member calls him there is a $150.00 fee. Suggestions were offered for a replacement attorney. Moving to the financial statement. Council person Godwin quickly pointed out that two different people had been paid using the same check number. After approximately 20 minutes of mumbling, a motion was made to adjourn.

Budget Hearing 2013-2014

This PM marked the beginning of what will undoubtedly will be a series of meetings as we speed toward the end of the physical year. Based on figures County Administrator Judy Covan has put together it appears there's a need to cut almost $2,000,000.00 from the "wish" list. Figures presented show the expected revenues to be $14,385,068.24. The current budget want list comes in at a figure of $16,359,052.49. Can you see where there might be a little problem making ends meet? I was not furnished a copy of the wants list for each department but it's obvious someone's gonna get disappointed. Some discussion included the fact that employee insurance is going up and will add approximately $20.00 per month per employee. With somewhere between 88 and 90 employees, that will put a little crimp in planning. It was noted that the upcoming budget already has the cost of 15 new pickup trucks, 1 side cutter and 1 excavator to come out of it. That in conjunction with the payments still being made on 6 backhoes, 1 new motor grader, 5 dump trucks and another side cutter can really put a squeeze on the old wallet. A proposal was made to establish a committee to work with Ms. Covan and see what could be done to bring the budget more into line. It was decided that Commissioners Cook and Millender be the committee members. The next commission meeting is scheduled for this coming Monday. After the regular meeting the committee will meet and see what develops. As per usual, negotiations with the departments will be forthcoming.

Audit Results 2010-2011

The results of the 2010/2011 audit conducted on the County Commission was debriefed this morning, 4 September, in the commission chambers. All the current commissions were on hand as were three of the previous administration. Mr.'s Barrow, Dean and Byrd showed up to see how their "report card" for financial management was going to read. Ms. Smith with the auditing group gave the debrief. Her statements were along the line of a superb audit result, no finding, no problems. The previous regime had shown excellent managerial methods in taking care of the counties assets. She said something to the effect of, "good involvement by the commissioners in office at that time. They were astute money mangers backed up by a very good staff." Congrats to the previous commissioners on finding ways to make our monies work to the counties benefit. Good Job. One more to go to get yourselves clear of any stigmatisms attached.

12 October 2013

After all the jumping up and down and beating of chest about the Weyerhauser plants return it seems a few problems have reared their head, first and foremost, what do we do with the sewage? Examination of the plant and facilities shows a state of deterioration has set in due to non-use. The largest obstacle to overcome appears to be the disposal problem for the sewer. It seems sections of the system have collapsed. Several methods are being looked into and examined to determine if it will be cost effective to return this plant to production or if it could possibly be more cost effective to use another facility. Studies and ideas are being bantered about in hopes a workable idea will come forward. As of now the main idea being forwarded is to tie the sewage in with GuYoung Tech's system. Not sure if ADEM and Health Department will buy off on this. Hopefully things will work out and we can get those jobs into our area

County Commission 9 Sep 2013

Meeting called to order by Chairman Andrews at 9 AM. Prayer by Commissioner Hildreth followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call showed all members present. The agenda and previous minutes were approved by unanimous vote. Payroll/personnel report showed 2 new hires, one at the animal shelter and one at the jail department. One separation from the animal shelter and37.5 hours of overtime, all in the corrections section of the jail. There were 5 claims over the $500.00 limit for the general fund requiring approval. Only one under the $3000.00 limit gasoline fund. The Conecuh County Department of Human Resources Board submitted a letter that, based on Mr. Johnny Mack Grace Sr.recommendation, his son, Johnny Mack Grace Jr., be appointed to take Mr. Grace Sr.’s position on the board. Approved by the commission with no dissenting votes. Mr. Andrews has served on the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission Board since November. In keeping with the rotation scheduled approved last November, Mr. McCreary will rotate to that board. Every 5 years at rotating position on the Board becomes available allowing a second commissioner to serve on that board. Chairman Andrews stated he had been asked to fill that rotating position and remain on the board. He entertained a motion to approve that. Motion made on both actions, passed. Commissioner McCreary forwarded a request he be allowed to resign from the Conecuh Regional Capital Improvement Cooperative District. Request approved. It was recommended Mr. Winston Foshee, County Engineer, be appointed to the board. Mr. Foshee has already agreed to serve if elected. Motion made, passed. This is a commendable move by Mr. Foshee. He will be the only non-elected official on that board. He works for and reports to the Conecuh County Commission, let’s hope he is able to give an independent, uninfluenced opinion and vote in the position he holds. Dr. John Johnson from the Coastal Gateway-Regional Economic Development Alliance spoke to the commission about the growing boom in Evergreen and how everyone was excited by it. He presented to the commission that it may well be time for Conecuh County to request partnership with the alliance. Partnership is based on a $25,000.00 per year membership fee. Chairman Andrews asked if anyone wished to make a motion to join this partnership. Commissioner Cook recommended they wait until further into the budget hearings to ensure money is available. Tabled until next meeting. Mr. Bobby Skipper, Evergreen Economic Development Director advised the Commission a new business is on track to move into the old Gerber Building. He stated this will bring many jobs to the area and should be largest employer between Montgomery and Mobile. Mr. Skipper addressed the commission on shortfalls in the work force available. He told the commission all surrounding counties have some form of labor relations facilities whereby resumes are held on hand. This makes it much easier for a prospective employer to come into an area and evaluate what is available for a quick start-up. Mr. Skipper proposed to the commission hey combine with the city and see what they can come up with to start such a program for our area. Anticipated cost, between $50,000.00 and$100,000.00. This should cover the cost of a building/office and staff. Mr. Johnny Brock, EMA director advised the commission his office has responded to some local wrecks involving minimal diesel fuel spills. Mr. Brock also advised the commission we are into the peak of hurricane season and suggested everyone prepare for possible inclement conditions. Mr. Brock told the commission of various monetary grants his office receives primarily based on their qualifications attained. He told the commission he currently has checks to turn over to them in the amount of approximately $6,120.00. Mr. Brock told the commissioners that it equates to around $12,000.00 per year provided the EMA director is certified. Mr. Winston Foshee, County Engineer, spoke on the current after-hours call out system. The on call crew remains in that status from Monday-Monday. Should they be called out, they will be paid a minimum of 4 hours overtime. One current stumbling block on the overtime happens when there is a holiday with pay involved. The workers must physically put in a full work week to get overtime. There was much discussion as to paying a proper compensation to those in an “on call” status and will be addressed at the next work session. Mr. Foshee also told the commissioners the county needed to move to another dirt pit. The one in mind is off County Road 17;the landowner is Mr. Carl Raines. The commission agreed and Mr. Foshee is to start moving equipment to the new pit Tuesday, 10 September. Mr. Foshee also wants to discuss the critique for dirt roads. Mr. Foshee advised the commission that all requirements had been meet to close the road known as Carnation Road. All landowners are in agreement, it has been advertised in the paper and a public hearing held. Vote to close, unanimous. County Administrator Report included a report by Ms. Mary Skipper dealing with the county web site and progress made to this point. Ms. Skipper gave her report and it was encouraged that she pair up with Mr. Winston Hayes (who was in the audience) and move forward from there. That is to be an item for discussion/action at the next meeting. There have been some situations cropping up with payroll and the methods of paying the employees. When a paper check is issued it has created a situation where workers take off at lunch time to cash them and get caught up in personal business costing the county work hours and impeding productivity. After discussion the basic consensus was to talk to the employees and encourage those not on check to bank to make an attempt to move that direction. It was also mentioned making that a requirement for new hires. County Attorney Anthony Bishop forwarded his proposal for a “Public Documents Requirements Form.” The commission moved and voted to accept. Chairman’s comments: The ACCA is in the process of changing and has asked for volunteers to serve on some policy/procedures board. Mr. Andrews announced he had volunteered to sit on the board dealing with environmental issues. Mr. Millender announced the state examiners audit board had completed the 2010-2011 audit review for Conecuh. There were no finding, it was ruled an excellent report. On 19September they will commence the 2011-2012 review. There were no comments from the media but Commissioner McCreary asked to speak after that portion of the agenda had been completed. Seems Mr. McCreary was upset about a story appearing in the 29 August Evergreen Courant dealing with travel pay for a conference trip to Texas. He presented Mr. Peacock, Courant reported with some paperwork showing how his travel pay was not out of line with what had been paid to the other commissioner who attended that same conference. I’m waiting to see what is published in the courant this time and I’m sure I’ll have more for the public on the travel pay cost to the tax payers of the county. Adjourned10:40 AM

Commission Work. Session 23 Sep 13

A work session was called to order at 3 PM Monday, 23 September 2013. All commissioners on hand except Commissioner Hildreth, District One. Items discussed at the work session include the following: County Engineer Winston Foshee brought the following items. 1. There will be an association Webinar on 8 October to include a statewide press conference. Commissioner Andrews will be the moderator, the time will be announced. Items for the press conference are: ATRIP announcement dealing with the roads/bridges improvements in the county. A list and status of all projects needs to be compiled. 2. Discussion of an extended warranty for the new Mac dump trucks. If an extended warranty is desired, it must be purchased within 9 months of accepting delivery. There are more than one warranty programs available. Discussion led to Mr. Foshee's recommendation that we set the trucks on a 3 year rotation program and purchase enough warranty to cover them. Mr. Foshee also states he believed the warranty to be transferrable to a purchaser. 3. Under ATRIP projects there is a right-of-way encroachment problem dealing with primarily fences. Some people have built decorative style brick fences to mark their driveways and some of these are intruding into the right-of-way. For the county to qualify for the state funding right-of-ways must be clear of obstructions or they must be constructed of breakaway materials. The county is working with residents in an effort to clear any obstructions on the right of way. One extremely important aspect of this is, should there be an accident with any of these obstructions involved, the owner/resident can be held accountable in court. Anyone with fences, mailboxes or other items that are on right-of-ways are encouraged to contact Mr. Winston Foshee at the County Engineers office for further guidance. 4. Mr. Foshee has been consulting with the Hillcrest High School Principal about the possibility of getting a ball field constructed. Mr. Foshee shared some of his ideas with the commission and will continue working with the principal in hopes of achieving this worthwhile project. 5. Two bridge projects on Hwys. 22 and 30 must have foundation designs. Mr. Foshee has been working with CDG in Andalusia and they have completed these designs. Mr. Foshee stated they should be the company that does the final inspection upon completion. Payments to CDG will be 100% reimbursable. 6. Three resurface projects are to be let this month. County Roads 5 (1.3 million cost), 29 (1.4million), 20 (591 thousand). 7. Mr. Foshee asked for clarification on county employee work hours. It was established in the past that work hours are to be from 6:30 AM 'til 5 PM. All commissioners will address this with their crews and get things inline with policy. 8. Mr. Foshee is a strong proponent of compensation for the callout system the county employees. Mr. Foshee said that typically those on callout are required to remain in a state of readiness for the period of time they are on call and should receive some type of pay for this inconvenience. It was recognized that each time there is a callout the responders receive a minimum of four (4) hours pay. Ms. Mary Skipper was next on the work session schedule and gave a brief on the current standing for the county website. She thanked Mr. Winston Hayes for his assistance and told the commission she was prepared to incorporate the web site. She advised them that the county could purchase a $3,400.00 software package to help with the integration of the counties operating system dealing with using the credit card machines, etc. Ms. Skipper also brought forth a job title for the person controlling the website. She suggested they be billed as the "Public Information Coordinator." Unsure at this time if a new job position will be organized for this task or if it will be handled within. Depends on how the commission wants the website to be kept up. Mr. Johnny Brock came before the work session to discuss an item he had previously raised, that of separating theE-911 section from the EMA section. Mr. Brock advised the commission that if the separation was not done prior to 1October the county stood to lose funding. He suggested the commissioners enact this split and select an interimE-911 Director until all job requirements could be worked out. Mr. Brock's plan for this split is at no additional cost to the county. Mr. Brock had Mr. David Goggins with him who backed up from the state level everything Mr. Brock put out. Work session ended at approximately 4:30PM

City Council 3 September 2013

and Bobby Skippers promise of business to come within 2 weeks.

Call to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff, invocation by Mike Lanier, all members present. In the informal session several of the local hotel owners spoke on the unfairness of the $2.00 per occupied room tax imposed on them. (Becomes effective 1 October 2013). They stated they felt singled out and the tax was unfair. Bottom line, Mayor Wolff told them the council had voted on it and it was in place. The agenda, accounts payable and previous minutes were approved unanimously. Under the Mayors comments Mr. Wolff stated the bids should be in on the grocery store on the 6th. There will be a 2:00 PM meeting today, 4 September, of the combined city/county development committee. Under old business, council person Upton spoke on the issue of tire purchases by the city. If everything is equal, he wants the city to purchase replacement tires locally. When put to a vote, this measure passed unanimously. Superintendent Sullivan said there had been no follow up from Navy personnel dealing with the grass mowing (or alternate ideas) at the airport. Mr. Sullivan recommended the bids currently being held be rejected to allow the companies involved the opportunity to get their funds back and re-bid at a later date if still interested. Approved. Mr. Sullivan also said, due to time constraints and co-ordination factors, his crew would handle the airport mowing for the upcoming October fly in. A proposal to purchase a bush hog for this job was discussed but was set aside until better coordination reveals what will be the best route for the city to follow. Compliance officer Bobby McNeil said everything is complete with the apartments eyesore on Magnolia Street and bids need to be let for clean up. Mr. McNeil also stated cleanup will start Thursday at the South Main Street residence. Mr. Sullivan requested an understanding of the use of the side cutter. Currently 3 different departments use the equipment and he has been unable to get it for quiet sometime and Evergreen has several streets/roads that need limbs and other overhangs removed. Mr. Sullivan was told to get the side cutter and use it as needed. Committee Reports: Council person Upton advised the council of the Dove shoot scheduled at the city park for Saturday afternoon. Cost $100.00 per gun, to start at 12:00 PM. New Business: The sewer department requested consideration be given to the purchase of a boom truck so their department can remove/replace/service parts of their responsibilities. Tabled. Try to work something out with the other departments. Mr. Sullivan said thanks to the efforts of the county engineer, Winston Foshee, Thomas road is now in good condition. Mr. Sullivan also informed the council of an accident on South Brunner Avenue bridge. Mr. Sullivan said they were going to have to do something with that bridge area to prevent future occurrences. Mr. Sullivan will be in classes Wednesday and Thursday this week and 3 days next week. Motion made to go into executive sessions to discuss good name and character then continue to economic development issues. Approved at 6:43 PM. Out of executive session at 7:52 PM. Motion made to allow Mayor Wolff to go forward with items discussed in executive session. Approved. Motion to adjourn: 7:55 PM During the 1st executive session I managed to bottle up Bobby Skipper, Economic Development coordinator, about pending businesses coming to the area. Here's the info I got from him. Grocery Store, Super Foods should start construction within 2 weeks.Clothing Store, Weavers start within 2 weeks.A restaurant "Bella's Fine Dining" designed to be an elegant dinner restaurant will start within 2 weeks. The following businesses should start construction during the 1st quarter of 2014: A hunting outfitting store, name not finalized.78 Apartment Unit complex, multistory buildings.A Denny's A Sonic's. There you have it folks. Keep your eyes peel for all the new building at the Exit 96 area.

Secret Meeting Revisited

Well, I pulled a story down because I considered bringing suit against the Commissioners myself but I've decided to handle things in a different manner so I'm putting the story back up. It's the one dealing with secret meetings. I'll recap the story for all then give additions that have come to light. On 3 April I was in the Government Center. I saw three commissioners (Cook, McCreary and Andrews) come in in staggered shifts. All three went into the commission offices and, after a few minutes I became curious and went into the commission office spaces myself. I looked in all the spaces I could see in and there were no commissioners to be seen. I walked down the hallway and noted the door to the chairman's office was closed. I moved back to the doorway to the conference room, stuck my head inside and noted the inner door to the chairman's office was open. I could hear voices in the room and recognized them as the three commissioners. I stepped back into the hallway and looked around for the County Administrator, Ms. Judy Covan. I saw Ms. Covan come from the chairman's office into the conference room and moved to pick up a book. I spoke to Ms. Covan and asked her if I could see the minutes for the last 3 months of 2012. She said she had to take the chairman something and would be with me shortly. She went back into the chairman's office and then came back out closing the only remaining open door behind her. That means the 3 commissioners were then in a secret meeting. Ms. Covan gathered up the minutes I'd asked for and gave them to me. I've always sat at the conference room table to review any other paperwork in the commission office and asked Ms. Covan if I should seat myself there. She told me she'd find me a place and moved me to an empty office on the opposite side of the hall. After she seated me in that office she went back through the door to the conference room and closed it behind her, effectively blocking any view I might have into those office spaces. I spent a few minutes looking over the minutes then took them to Ms. Covan and left the commission area. When I got outside I looked over the parking lot for any of the commissioners vehicles and did not see any. I had someone on hand that had watched the front area for me and told me the commissioners had departed. Andrews and McCreary left together and Cook left by himself. That folks, is a violation of Alabama State Law 36-25A-1, the Open Meetings Act. Anytime a quorum of officers exist and they are in a closed room it can only be a secret, unauthorized meeting or be in executive session. On Thursday, 4 April I posted on this web site a report on about what you've just read. On Friday, 5 April, my wife and I went to the Tiny Diner for lunch. David Cook saw me approaching and waited for me to come close to him. When I was in talking range he told me he was disturbed by the report I had written and denied there was a secret meeting. I told Mr. Cook exactly what I stated above, a quorum of officers in a closed room is an illegal meeting. Long story short, Mr. Cook admitted to me, with my wife listening, that he was really sorry that had happened and that as soon as he found out I was in the building he left. Why did he feel compelled to leave when he found out I was there? Could it be guilt feelings and getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar? It has come to my attention that Mr. Cook has spoken to Robert Bozeman, owner and publisher of the Evergreen Courant and told him the doors were not closed. I wonder what will happen should it come time to swear on that issue. I have no problem telling the truth about what I saw and I'm sure my wife will have no problem telling what she heard. I wonder how the other commissioners will stack up and there's always Ms. Covan. I strongly advise everyone to tell the truth 'cause there may have been a truth maker/breaker on.


A search for Chad Wilson ended with a tragic conclusion Monday afternoon.

Joyce Wilson, mother and local resident reported her son Justin Everett "Chad" Wilson had not been seen since Thursday evening and was not responding to calls or text messages, the County Sheriff, Edwin Booker and a group of deputies commenced a search for anything that may lead to finding Chad.

A group of local citizens from the community including myself, Shaw personnel who worked with his brother Rhett and others pitched in to help. Seems his cell phone was still on and by "pinging" it, the sheriff could determine a general locale for the phones location. Reports started out that the phone was "pinging" from a tower located just off highway 84 near the Covington County line. That led to searches in that area for any sign of Chad or the red Mustang he drove. On Sunday the signal seemed to change and was coming from the area of Mt. Union near Sepulga Church.

Brother Rhett came by the house and expressed his concern that something had to have happened for Chad not to respond to any of the family by now. I went over to Rhett's house where several people were gathering to form a plan for search areas. After checking several of the roads and areas in the community, I returned home. About 10 minutes after I got in Sheriff Booker came by and he and I went out on another search. Our travels lead us into some areas where the 4 wheel drive on that Tahoe got a field test. Still no results and, with dark falling, the sheriff suggested calling it a day.

It had been cloudy, overcast and rain settling in on Sunday. The sheriff said he'd tried to get some air support but was unable due to weather conditions.

Monday dawned a new day and better weather and search flights started.

Around 3 P.M. a red vehicle was spotted in a low lying area alongside highway 84 between the 113 and 115 mile marker. The search was over but not in a manner we were hoping for. Chad was found inside the car lifeless. His body has been removed and sent to Mobile for forensic testing and autopsy.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wilson family and our community. Chad was a fixture in our area. You could never tell when he might coming walking up or pull into your driveway just to speak but rest assured, everyone knew Chad. Never a harsh word or statement from him just...........Chad.

He will be missed.


Weyerhaeuser Co. reopening Castleberry plant, hiring 100

Weyerhaeuser Co. announced Friday morning it will restart production immediately at its long-idled Castleberry, Ala., lumber plant and hire as many as 100 people by the close of 2014. “We are thrilled to welcome Weyerhaeuser back to Conecuh County. Weyerhaeuser is an excellent company and bringing this plant back online will have an extraordinarily positive impact on the entire region,” said Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance Chairman Larry Woods. In Alabama, Federal Way, Wa.-based Weyerhaeuser also operates a lumber manufacturing facility in Millport, a Nursery Tree Improvement Center in Camden and it manages more than 547,000 acres of timberland in 23 counties. In response to strengthening demand for wood products in North America, the Castleberry facility will restart production of Weyerhaeuser’s Trus Joist and Microllam lines. Employment peaked at the plant at around 225 in 2008, but the facility was shuttered in 2009, displacing 169 workers. “Customer demand for engineered wood products has improved over the last year, and our Evergreen facility is the ideal location to add production capacity of our Trus Joist…and Microllam building products,” Jan Marrs, manufacturing manager for Weyerhaeuser Engineered Lumber Products said in a prepared statement. “With our markets improving and positive support from both the state and local community, we are looking forward to restarting this facility,” Marrs said. Employment peaked at the plant at around 225 in 2008, but the facility was shuttered in 2009, displacing169 workers. Trus Joist MacMillan opened the Castleberry plant in 1998, but by 2000 Weyerhaeuser had purchased both companies that made up the partnership. The company estimates the facility has an estimated annual production of 2 million cubic feet of Microllam LVL and 120 million lineal feet of TJI joists. The Castleberry facility was acquired by Weyerhaeuser in 2000 and David Cook, chairman of the Conecuh County Commission said luring production of the products back to Castleberry was no easy task and required the collaboration of several key agencies with a common goal “The Conecuh County facility competed with several sites throughout the United States on this project. The Conecuh County Commission, staff of the Evergreen/Conecuh County Economic Development Office and the Coastal Gateway staff worked tirelessly to bring this project to the region,” Cook said. Founded in 1900, Weyerhaeuser owns or controls nearly 7 million acres of timber lands, primarily in the U.S., and manages another 14 million acres under long-term licenses in Canada. In addition, the real estate investment trust is one of the largest manufacturers of wood and cellulose fibers products and develops real estate, focusing primarily on single-family homes. In2012, Weyerhaeuser generated $7.1 billion in sales and employed approximately13,200 people.

City Council 20 Aug 2013

Meeting called to order by Mayor Wolff at6 PM. Invocation by Mike Lanier. All members present for roll call

. Informal session for visitors: Several hotel owners/managers were on hand desiring to discuss the impending “head” tax from the city being placed on them. Current plans are to impose a$2.00 per person, up to a maximum of $4.00 on each person staying in the hotel facilities in Evergreen. All of the hotel owners/managers are unhappy about this additional cost. They had asked to be placed on the agenda but were removed by Mayor Wolff who told them there was nothing to discuss at this time, there had been no changes.

Anita Wagner, herb shop owner, spoke to the council about getting permission to stage and host a “diabetes fun run.” She wishes to do this the week before Halloween and asked for police support also. This measure was passed by unanimous vote.

Ms. Katherine Dantz was presented a proclamation to recognize her efforts and hard work toward improving the City of Evergreen. This was in the form of a Civic Leadership Award.

The agenda was approved as were the minutes of the previous meeting.

Mayor Wolff had the following comments:

Kings Crossing RXR tracks are finally getting a major safety upgrade. CSX is installing arms on each side of the tracks, work is in progress now.

Media Com has moved/relocated their office to a place in New York. Based on discussion, their time in Evergreen may be limited if things continue in the current venue.

The meter police have determined several meters need replacing. Every meter that is currently set on an “A” base must be replaced. It has been discovered several meters are only functioning at a low percent basis of what they should be reading. In fact, some meters are only registering10-30% of the actual power going through them creating a horrific monetary loss to the city. This upgrade will be in conjunction with the new utility software system the city will be incorporating. Cost per site is approximately $250.00 for meter upgrade.

Old Business:

The approval of an invoice in the amount of $4,066.50 for the sidewalk improvement was done by unanimous vote providing one pending issue be met. That would be to correct the big drop at the corner of N. Main and Willie Rogers Road.

A discuss on the manner of paying Tyler Contract for the upcoming utility software programs was conducted. It was determined that the pay structure might be more beneficial if it were done on a monthly basis vice annual. The discussion hinged around a proposal brought forth that needed a little tweaking. It was approved by unanimous vote based on City Attorney Hartley’s approval of a final document to be provide him dealing with the payments.

Mr. Bobby McNeil said the city cleanup is progressing. He asked that all business’s in town please identify their building numbers by putting something visible to the public on the front of their buildings. In the event of an emergency, this will also make it easier for responding personnel to find the place.

Bobby Skipper, Economic Director recommended the city accept the bid on the concession stand construction and move forward with the work. Skipper Construction’s bid of $116,000.00 was the low bid of 4 received and the work was awarded to them. Attorney Hartley stated that should there be any subcontractors involved, they need to sign a “hold harmless” agreement with the city.

Committee Reports:

Council person Skinner asked about some chips for Thomas Road to help stop the water runoff. Superintendent Sullivan said he had discussed that situation with the county commission and they were going to take action on it.

Council person Upton talked of the huge dove population at the park area and asked if they city could authorize a dove shoot to raise additional funds for the park rework. After discussion, this measure passed by unanimous vote. Cost per gun,$100.00. To be conducted on opening day of dove season, 7 September. Any questions, contact council person Upton.

Council person Upton noted he had seen where the city police cars replacement tires were coming from a business in Greenville and suggested we should be supporting local businesses. He said that Interstate Towing had excellent tires in the form of B. F. Goodrich’s and this would help a local business in OUR town.

It was noted that ALADOT handles and installs all traffic lights, it is the cities responsibility to keep these lights up and in operation. The parts have been furnished fee by ALADOT but the city is billed for the labor. Currently the city owes $28,000.00 in labor payments. A motion was made and passed to pay this bill in 12 installments.

New business:

Superintendent Sullivan presented Mayor Wolff with an Arbor Day flag as a part of the recognition of Evergreen’s status as a “Tree City USA” award.

It was approved to close city hall and the cities department for Labor Day, Monday, 2 September. The scheduled city council meeting for 3September will be held.

The low income home energy assistance program was approved by unanimous vote. Council person Upton brought up that he’d had complaints that it appeared the assistance from this program may be being abused. Attorney Hartley suggested the DOJ or FBI be advised and allow them to investigate.

The cities accounting firm, Warren Averett, had their contract renewed.

A unanimous vote was cast to renew the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission Rural Transportation agreement.

The returned check fee is currently$20.00. It was recommended there be an increase to $35.00 for a return check fee and a $50.00 fee will be charged for checks written on closed accounts.

With no further business, motion to adjourn was approved.

Commission Meeting 26 August 2013

Call to order at 5 P.M. by Chairman Cook. Prayer by Cook followed by the pledge. Roll Call showed Commissioner Hildreth missing. Reported his father had fallen, broken a hip and had undergone surgery on Sunday. Best wishes to Mr. Hildreth and hopes for a rapid recovery. The agenda and previous minutes were approved by unanimous vote. Payroll/Personnel report: 1 new hire at the animal shelter. John Bolton, temporary emergency hire. 2 separations from the jail department. 10 hours of overtime at the animal shelter. Claims approval: No claims over the gasoline or general fund limit requiring approval, however the sheriff's department submitted invoices for $1,900/54 in re-imbursement claims for uniforms. approved by unanimous vote. Ms. Voncile Jackson, interim director for the Human Resources Department was in attendance. The Department had one re-nomination recommendation and one new member recommendation. Ms. Marion Booker was approved for reappointment by unanimous vote. The other recommendation, Johnny Mack Grace Jr. who was recommended as a new member by his father (departing the board) did not receive a motion for appointment. This will be discussed later. Ms. Jackson expressed concern that the current board is not meeting as needed. Normally they cannot field a quorum of members. The next scheduled meeting is 19 September 2013 at 3 P.M. but that time could shift if needed. It was brought up by the commission that one member of the board lives in Orange Beach. With the travel distance involved they were curious if that member attended meetings and just how feasible it was for them to be on the board. Commission Chair David Cook advised that, according to the rules established by the commission, his time as Chairman was at an end. Mr. Andrews is scheduled to assume chairman duties on 2 September. Mr. Johnny Brock was unavailable for this meeting. Engineer Foshee advised ATRIP money for 2 bridge projects was available. The counties share is $40,000.00 for one bridge and $60,000.00 for the other. These bridges are located on C.R.'s 22 and 30. Administrators Report: In receipt of a letter from ALATOM on project 5311 dealing with public transportation. It was approved that we participate. A work session for American General Insurance Co. will be set up by departments for interested personnel. County Attorney Bishop advised he is waiting for a legal description for the recently requested road vacating. He also spoke of a need to update the Public Document Request Form. This was taken under advisement for review and will be open for discussion and vote next meeting. Mr. Cook reminded everyone there will be a 10 A.M. hearing for a road closure near the Lyeffion School. Now known as Carnation Road. The next budget hearing will be 5 September at 1 P.M. with work session to follow. Media Comments: I asked why 2 commissioners going to the same meeting at the same place could submit differing travel claims. Mr. McCreary and Mr. Millender recently attend a NACO conference in Fort Worth, Tx. Mr. Millender's claim was for the amount of $419.62 while Mr. McCreary's was in the amount of $850.17. I was told one commissioner flew and one drove with the driver receiving the higher amount of pay. I told the commissioners they duty is to protect the assets of the county. How can they fulfill their duties if they allow this type of abuse? Chairman Cook stated they would look into it and establish some rules and guidelines. There should not be that much difference in pay, it should be treated just like equipment bids and the lower cost be accepted. Meeting adjourned at 5:45 P.M.

City Council 20 Aug 2013

Meeting called to order by Mayor Wolff at6 PM. Invocation by Mike Lanier. All members present for roll call.

Informal session for visitors:

Several hotel owners/managers were on hand desiring to discuss the impending “head” tax from the city being placed on them. Current plans are to impose a$2.00 per person, up to a maximum of $4.00 on each person staying in the hotel facilities in Evergreen. All of the hotel owners/managers are unhappy about this additional cost. They had asked to be placed on the agenda but were removed by Mayor Wolff who told them there was nothing to discuss at this time, there had been no changes.

Anita Wagner, herb shop owner, spoke to the council about getting permission to stage and host a “diabetes fun run.” She wishes to do this the week before Halloween and asked for police support also. This measure was passed by unanimous vote.

Ms. Katherine Dantz was presented a proclamation to recognize her efforts and hard work toward improving the City of Evergreen. This was in the form of a Civic Leadership Award.

The agenda was approved as were the minutes of the previous meeting.

Mayor Wolff had the following comments:

Kings Crossing RXR tracks are finally getting a major safety upgrade. CSX is installing arms on each side of the tracks, work is in progress now.

Media Com has moved/relocated their office to a place in New York. Based on discussion, their time in Evergreen may be limited if things continue in the current venue.

The meter police have determined several meters need replacing. Every meter that is currently set on an “A” base must be replaced. It has been discovered several meters are only functioning at a low percent basis of what they should be reading. In fact, some meters are only registering10-30% of the actual power going through them creating a horrific monetary loss to the city. This upgrade will be in conjunction with the new utility software system the city will be incorporating. Cost per site is approximately $250.00 for meter upgrade.

Old Business:

The approval of an invoice in the amount of $4,066.50 for the sidewalk improvement was done by unanimous vote providing one pending issue be met. That would be to correct the big drop at the corner of N. Main and Willie Rogers Road.

A discuss on the manner of paying Tyler Contract for the upcoming utility software programs was conducted. It was determined that the pay structure might be more beneficial if it were done on a monthly basis vice annual. The discussion hinged around a proposal brought forth that needed a little tweaking. It was approved by unanimous vote based on City Attorney Hartley’s approval of a final document to be provide him dealing with the payments.

Mr. Bobby McNeil said the city cleanup is progressing. He asked that all business’s in town please identify their building numbers by putting something visible to the public on the front of their buildings. In the event of an emergency, this will also make it easier for responding personnel to find the place.

Bobby Skipper, Economic Director recommended the city accept the bid on the concession stand construction and move forward with the work. Skipper Construction’s bid of $116,000.00 was the low bid of 4 received and the work was awarded to them. Attorney Hartley stated that should there be any subcontractors involved, they need to sign a “hold harmless” agreement with the city.

Committee Reports:

Council person Skinner asked about some chips for Thomas Road to help stop the water runoff. Superintendent Sullivan said he had discussed that situation with the county commission and they were going to take action on it.

Council person Upton talked of the huge dove population at the park area and asked if they city could authorize a dove shoot to raise additional funds for the park rework. After discussion, this measure passed by unanimous vote. Cost per gun,$100.00. To be conducted on opening day of dove season, 7 September. Any questions, contact council person Upton.

Council person Upton noted he had seen where the city police cars replacement tires were coming from a business in Greenville and suggested we should be supporting local businesses. He said that Interstate Towing had excellent tires in the form of B. F. Goodrich’s and this would help a local business in OUR town.

It was noted that ALADOT handles and installs all traffic lights, it is the cities responsibility to keep these lights up and in operation. The parts have been furnished fee by ALADOT but the city is billed for the labor. Currently the city owes $28,000.00 in labor payments. A motion was made and passed to pay this bill in 12 installments.

New business:

Superintendent Sullivan presented Mayor Wolff with an Arbor Day flag as a part of the recognition of Evergreen’s status as a “Tree City USA” award.

It was approved to close city hall and the cities department for Labor Day, Monday, 2 September. The scheduled city council meeting for 3September will be held.

The low income home energy assistance program was approved by unanimous vote. Council person Upton brought up that he’d had complaints that it appeared the assistance from this program may be being abused. Attorney Hartley suggested the DOJ or FBI be advised and allow them to investigate.

The cities accounting firm, Warren Averett, had their contract renewed.

A unanimous vote was cast to renew the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission Rural Transportation agreement.

The returned check fee is currently$20.00. It was recommended there be an increase to $35.00 for a return check fee and a $50.00 fee will be charged for checks written on closed accounts.

With no further business, motion to adjourn was approved.

Commission Meeting 12 Aug 2013

Call to order at 9 AM by Chairman Cook, invocation by Dr. Crandall followed by the pledge of allegiance.

Roll call revealed all commissioners present.

The agenda was approved. There was one correction to the minutes of 22 July. Commissioner Millender advised the facility getting the abc licenses was in District 2 vice District 5. Approved by unanimous vote with corrections.

Pay roll/personnel report reflects one new hire at the jail and one separation from the jail. There were 7.5 hours of overtime for the jail.

Under Claims there were four claims over the $500.00 general fund limit. One claim over the $3,000.00 limit under the gasoline fund. Paid to Warrior Tractor for reworking District 3 backhoe.

Conecuh Probate Judge came before the commission to request permission to do an emergency temporary hire. Ms. Killebrew is currently out on medical leave and unsure when she will come back. Permission granted unanimous vote.

Mr. Shawn Sullivan, Fraternal Order of Police, came before the commission requesting they help establish a local gun range strictly for police use. He asked the commission if they would furnish 5 loads of gravel for the road and parking area. After discussion, input from County Attorney Bishop and a recommendation from Commissioner Hildreth a motion was made to furnish the gravel. Passed by vote of 4 ayes and 1 nay. Commissioner Hildreth stated he was not adverse to furnishing the gravel but wanted to get input from the ethics commission first.

Mr. John Clyde Riggs of the Alabama Tombigee Regional Commission spoke to the commission on the hazardous mitigation plan. He told the commission the plan needed redoing. He stated Conecuh needs to pass a resolution saying Conecuh has a plan. Mr. Riggs stated that these hazardous mitigation plans came in the form of grant money but must have a % match. He told the commission if the % match could be done in "in kind" work, Ala-Tom would cover it. Should the match need to be in cash he may well have to come back to the county and re-negotiate.

Fire Chief Thad House from Lyeffion talked to the commission about the recent grant for new communication equipment for the entire county. He stated the county would receive 1,052,632.00 in grant money. Currently there is a $50,000.00 consulting invoice that is to be split between the city of Evergreen and the county. Current payment needed from the county is $8,333.00. This will cover their obligation until 1 October.

Next on the agenda is the county solid waste management plan. Attorney Bishop gave it his legal blessing and it passed by unanimous vote.

EMA Director Johnny Brock spoke of an 18 wheeler accident on I-65 on this past weekend resulting in a diesel spill. He spoke on the efforts needed to get the vehicle out of the crash area and the clean up that followed.

Mr. Brock also told the Chairman that EMPG grant money is available in the amount of $6,120.00 but the chairman's signature was needed. Mission accomplished.

County Engineer Foshee reported everything is prepared to move forward on C. R. 15 to Hwy. 84s. The contract has been let to APAC of Birmingham. Counties 20% match is $97,059.00. He also stated the federal aid funding balance would be used on two roads, C. R. 35 which runs from C. R. 42-Hwy. 31/84 and C. R. 106. This was approved by unanimous vote.

Mr. Foshee also spoke on meeting with Johnsonville residents. Commissioner Hildreth was there also.

County Administrator Judy Covan reported that animal shelter employee Terry Gray had been placed on a leave without pay status. Chief Impounding officer Sid Lambert has requested help. Motion made to do an emergency temp. hire for no more than 6 weeks, pay set at minimum wage. Motion by Andrews, 2nd Hildreth, passed unanimously.

County Attorney Bishop presented a resolution from Alabama Department of Transportation dealing with re-working the CSX crossing on Wilcox road. All work to be done by AlaDot with the county assuming responsibility of future upkeep. Resolution approved by unanimous vote.

Bishop also reported on Judge Smithharts decision dealing with the landfill issue.

Chairman Cook stated the Conecuh Handbook had been updated and was available for review before approval. Will attempt to have that completed by the next work session.

The commission is scheduled to go into budget review/recommendation hearings this afternoon and resume Thursday, 15 August at 1 P.M.

There will be a public hearing held on 27 August in the commission chambers dealing with vacating a road.

Commissioner Andrews reported on the "Yellow Dot" program which is a device or means to recognize someone that has been involved in an accident that has special medical needs. A yellow dot will be placed in a conspicuous place on a window. This will notify emergency response personnel to look for the yellow dot pouch in the glove box of the vehicle. This will give them a heads up on any special needs to expedite treatment for injured individuals.

Business ends, motion to adjourn adopted.

Commission Mtg. 22 July 2013

Meeting called to order by Chairman David Cook at 5 PM. Invocation given by Reverend Willie Johnson followed by the pledge of allegiance.

Roll call revealed Commissioners Millender and McCreary were missing. They are at a conference in Texas.

The agenda and previous minutes were approved by unanimous vote. Pay roll/personnel report shows no losses/no gains. There were 29.5 hours of overtime for approval. 13.5 from the Sheriffs department and 16 hours from the animal shelter. Motion to approve by Andrews, 2 Hildreth, passed unanimously.

There were no claims over the limit in either the general or gasoline fund that required approval.

Mr. Clinton Samuel Jr. of Johnsonville spoke of concerns of the people of Johnsonville/Franklintown community dealing with Johnsonville Circle and Memorial Drive. He read a statement of the citizen’s concerns dealing with the conditions of these roads, the traffic pattern that has evolved due to oil wells and overall hazardous conditions. He advised the commission there are two large churches with no signage signifying them, several hidden drives in dangerous areas and what should be everyone’s main interest, the school children and their safety.

Mr. Willie Johnson, another Johnsonville resident addressed the commission on the fact this has been an ongoing problem that was first addressed in 2005. He stated there has been no real improvement since that date and appealed to the commission to please do something to stop the dangers the people forced to travel this road must endure.

Several other residents of Johnsonville and Franklintown were there to show and voice their support. Ms. Cleo Williams spoke to the commission reiterating the people’s desire to have a safe area to live in with roads that they could travel on. It was stated on numerous occasions that the oil production in that area was a boon to the county in the revenue it brought them and now, with the addition of oil trucks driving the roads, it was absolutely necessary the county make some effort to improve conditions.

The commissioners assured the residents they would evaluate and take action. Mr. Foshee was tasked with looking at the situation soon as possible and forward his recommendations.

Mayor J. B. Jackson, Castleberry, was next on the agenda. Mayor Jackson deferred to his chief of police, Tracy Hawsey. The major problem is, Castleberry is basically a step-child some folks have no desire to deal with because of Mr. Hawsey. They have been cut off from dispatch at the sheriff’s department and come before the commission to ask for permission to use E-911 as their dispatch. The major problem they seem to have now is, Chief Hawsey has been out of law enforcement for more than 2 years and must take a course to get his certification back. Chief Hawsey presented paperwork stating that provisions exist giving him up to six months to re-attain his certification status and he assured the commission he had a course set up now to achieve this.

Commissioners deferred to County Attorney Anthony Bishop. Mr. Bishop said he would have to research and ensure everything was above board making sure the county would not face any legal repercussions by allowing this. Mr. Johnny Brock stated the E-911 personnel stood ready 100% to assist provided it was all legal. Tabled until reports can be received.

Mr. Jimmy Bell, Conecuh County Revenue Commissioner brought the errors and omissions final settlement report to the commission. A yearly task. Requires the chairman’s signature and mailing in to complete all of Conecuh’s requirements in this area. Signed and completed.

Mr. Johnny Brock, EMA Director reported he had discovered where it appears the insurance for his office spaces as well as those of the County Engineer may have been double billed for insurance. This will be researched and, Mr. Brock suggested the building insurance be placed under one entity.

Mr. Brock is in receipt of some EMPG grant monies.

County Engineer Winston Foshee submitted a proposal that a particular road in District 5 be closed. All applicable procedures for this have been met to date. Will require a public hearing after advertising before any further action can be taken. A resurfacing project for C. R. 15 involving 3.8 miles will be undertaken. This is part of the ATRIP program which requires the county to put in a 20% match. It appears the county’s portion of this project will be approximately $133,000.00.

Mr. Foshee advised the commission that the state EMA has an assist program for debris removal in the event of a disaster. Typically the state will kick in a 5-10% additional fee provided the county has a Debris removal program which must be adopted. The commission opted to adopt the debris removal program.

Mr. Foshee advised the commission of trucks needing replacing within his department. This is a previously discussed purchase with approval coming with the new budget. Mr. Foshee stated the current state bid would expire before the next budget and requested permission to order the trucks now with payment coming due after the budget. Mr. Foshee stated the old trucks could be sold with the money from them to go toward the purchase of the new trucks. Mr. Hildreth suggested taking one of the old trucks and giving it to the animal shelter for their use. Motion to allow the ordering of the trucks approved.

Judy Covan, County Administrator told the commission the financing for the previously approved motor grader was set at 1.94% thru Bank Corp South. Requires their approval to a resolution. Approved unanimously.

The Evergreen Veterinary Clinic faces tax penalties due to an oversight in not paying county taxes. The clinic has requested the commission to waive the penalties to the county relieving them of the responsibility of paying the county those penalties. This does not relieve them from paying their taxes. Commission voted unanimously to waive the penalty charges.

It was requested an ABC licenses be issued for an establishment located on the Loree Road. Approved unanimously.

Chairman Cook had no closing remarks.

When asked if the news media had any remarks Mr. Jim Allen asked if the commission could look into a possible user fee for the oil trucks to offset the road repairs in Johnsonville. He also asked why the county would be responsible for Chief Hawsey’s situation in Castleberry. If Castleberry hired him would it not be a Castleberry responsibility? It was stated the attorney wanted to make sure of the counties responsibility in this area.

Meeting adjourned at 6:05 PM.

Conecuh County Commission Work Session 22 July 2013

Work session commenced at 4 PM. Ms. Mary Skipper gave a report to the commission on her efforts toward getting a county website started. She reported Delta Data Base would be able to accommodate the website, when given the go-ahead it could be up and running within a week and it was free to build.

She also reported there was cost associated with the website such as $5,100.00 one-time startup fee, a cost per month for different aspects such as, $50.00 per month for a property tax site, a $100.00 per month charge for the motor vehicle section. There are other optional items (plat books, boat registration, hunting licenses, business licenses, etc.) that can be added for additional cost.

Some of the benefits of this website the citizens would be able to pay their property taxes on line, register their vehicles from the comfort of home and other nice things. It was noted the sheriff must have a credit/debit card payment system set up by 1 August to cover pistol permit cost. The will be extra charges for setting up a credit card posting. Currently it appears the customer will be required to pay a 3% charge for using a card.

It was determined during the working session that the probate judge and tax accessor needed to be contacted about the fees with the site.

Mr. Sid Lambert, Chief Impounding Officer, Conecuh County Animal Shelter gave a report on the shelter. He stated that as of tomorrow he has been on the job one month. He spent the first week observing and noting problems. On the next Saturday the Conecuh County Humane Society came in and assisted in a deep cleaning. He also said he had been in contact with state authorities and expected them to evaluate and give the shelter certification.

He advised the commissioners that since his arrival they have had to euthanize 5 cats and 4 dogs.

Mr. Lambert said all the items he’d asked for to date were needed items and he had a few more to add to the list. He said the area where the voting machines are stored is needed for a K-9 area for small dogs. He suggested taking out the single door and using the roll-up door.

The item needed that will cost the county the most is the fence at the shelter. He said this fence was to join in with Southern Pines fence and to rig it into a drive thru area. Commissioner Hildreth said his recommendation was to make the fence complete to the far side of the shelter and to join it into the building there. This completed the animal shelter report.

Mr. Winston Foshee addressed the commission on the economic aspects of road upkeep in the county. He had a very nice and elaborate explanation on the bulletin board showing progress so far, cost per mile of paving and other aspects. Discussion progressed from there to talk of the “on call” status of county workers. Currently there is an eight person team assigned with two persons working per weekend/off duty hours. They are paid a minimum of four hours should it be necessary they respond to any after hours problems in the county. The primary interest is ensuring these people do receive compensation for the “normal” time off they are forced to give up to handle these situations. Attorney Bishop will look into overtime pay etc. to see how they may be awarded additional pay.

Ms. Covan, County Administrator advised the commission the recently approved motor grader purchase will be addressed at the regular meeting to follow.

Work session over. Brief recess before meeting.


Hearing went quickly today. Ms. Kidd made her opening, I responded with mine then she asked to respond to my statements. Judge allowed her and when she finished, I asked to speak once more. I completed my statements and the Judge responded he'd take it under advisement and render a decision.

Who knows? We should have something soon




DAV Fishing Tourney

Ahhh!!! That's the sound you make at the end of a successful day.

Saturday Morning, 3rd day of August, DAV fishing tournament at the Evergreen Park. What a great day for this.

We got there early and set up at Pavilion number 1. Mookie was on hand right behind us and got the area cleaned up and the reserved signs out. Parents and children started showing up next and we started the registration process and let them get to fishing.

Tony Salter with his big Bar-B-Q grill showed up next and put everything in place to start cooking hamburgers, sausage dogs and hot dogs. Discovered as the day progressed what a good cook Tony really was.

Other folks from the DAV and Antioch Church arrived and we were really off and running. Even Luther managed to make it before midday but he did come in with aches and pains from the recent political race he was in.

Thank goodness Eugene Smith had loaned me his golf cart. We got it off the trailer, loaded it up with sausage dogs, drinks, cookies and chips and set off around the lake to make sure everyone had registered and see if they needed refreshments.

We managed to register 22 young men and women during the course of our tourney. A quick call to a few sponsors for help resulted in Salters Hardware donating a very nice rod and reel combo. Mayor Wolff also donated a combo and had his dealership bring out another golf cart.

Ms. JJ (Jonette) showed up with her sound equipment, set up and gave us a pleasing touch of background music. She kept this up for the entire event. Pastor Michael Jackson, DAV Chaplain, had to jump through some hoops to get us some fish bait. The pre-arranged deal with the bait kindda fell through but ain't no hill for a climber.

We continued to have people show up all morning long, get a rod and reel or pole and start working on those pesky fish.

No real giants were to be caught today. Even though the temperature was not bad, the fish seemed to have developed lock jaw.

Deacon Edmund Phillips of the Antioch Church was fishing along side his daughter (doing the old, "I'll show you how thing") and somewhere around 11 AM he hooked into a nice bass. Played his like a pro but got a little to antsy at the very end and bang, the fish was gone. Deacon Phillip recently retired from the hospital and I've been after him to do some retired things like go fishing. That bass may have gotten him interested.

We called all the fisher folks in at noon and did a fish and size count. Prizes were offered for the tagged fish $100.00 (none caught), the most fish, $75.00, the biggest fish, $50.00.

Mr. Eric Turner showed his prowess in the fishing world. He caught the most fish and the largest fish. Mr. Dakota Coleman was given a $25.00 award for a bass he caught.

Along with the rod and reel combos donated by Salter's and the Mayor, Reverend Jackson had also acquired 2 combo units. Ms. Phillips, wife of the guy that lost the big fish AND head of our fund raising committee had taken all the names registered and put them on a small piece of paper. She then placed them in a container and had names drawn out for the rod and reels. I do believe we had some happy people. Mr. Eric Turner, big winner with the most and largest fish won one of the combo units. I think if we decide to do this again he'll show up.

So many people to thank, James and Barbara Sims, Tony Salter, Salter's Hardware, Mayor Wolff, Antioch Church and their minister, Michael Jackson, the list goes on and on. The DAV thanks you all from the bottom of our hearts for your help and support.

A special thanks to the city of Evergreen for allowing us to hold the fishing tournament at their park and to the park staff for all their help. Ms. Coleman made several pictures during the day and she's supposed to send me some. Keep an eye on this spot and we'll see if we can't get some of our champions posted here

Open meetings law explanation

When I posted the Open Meetings Civil Suit information I did not put an explanation with it and I apologize to the readers for that.

I've been asked several times what am I asking for in the suit.

Unlike most civil suits the penalty for a violation of the open meetings act is covered in the Code of Alabama under 36-25A-1 thru 9. This is a law passed by the Alabama State Legislatures but is, for all basic purposes, useless.

The monetary fine for County Commissioners as covered in the law is, $1,000.00 or 1/2 months pay, whichever is lower. Should I prevail in upholding the laws of Alabama that means the court system will receive $1,000.00 from Commission Chairman Cook (Chairman gets about $600.00 per month more than the others), approximately $850.00 from Commissioners Andrews and McCreary each. I get nothing unless the Judge upholds my request for re-imbursement.

Not a real stinging endorsement to make it illegal to hold these meetings but it at least gets things in the open as to what is going on behind closed doors in the commission chambers. (Remember all those statements about openness in government that were made prior to taking office)?

Any decisions made in these illegal meetings can and should be reversed, as well as any future decisions that come to be.

I guess the only practical way to refer to it is as a lawsuit but it really should be considered a citizen trying to uphold the constitution and laws of the state of Alabama, something our elected judicial officials seem not to concern themselves about. Wonder why we pay our legislatures good money to make these laws and then don't enforce them. A question that I hope to have answered later.

Council Meeting 16 July 2013

Meeting called to order by Mayor Wolff at 6 PM with invocation by Mike Lanier.

All members were present for roll call.

The agenda was approved as written In the mayors comments Mayor Wolff reminded everyone that a runoff election would be held on 30 July between Mr. Upton and Ms. Fordham. The winner will be sworn in that evening as the council person effective when all returns are counted.

Mayor Wolff also announced that, based on the attorney's advice, bids must be let for the purchase of a new fire truck.

Accounts payable and the previous minutes were both approved by unanimous vote.

Old Business:

Economic Director Bobby Skipper asked the council to pass a resolution to upgrade the city's software for an impending switchover to primary electronic status for all utilities.

Some discussion ensued with questions such as "how long will the warranty be for these software upgrades?" Response....This is a continuing upgrading software system so the warranty does not expire.

There was some concern that residents may have to pay for new meters and other items. The software and meters for the electric upgrade will come from the power company at no cost to the citizens. However, new meters will not be installed on homes that do not meet code. It will be the homeowners responsibility to make sure their dwellings are in keeping with code.

Permission was granted to continue moving forward with this project which will make it come on line faster as the company gets to the position to put the system in place. The representative for the software company was on hand and stated it would take approximately one year from start to finish getting everything straightened out.

Committee Reports:

Council person Skinner reported he had talked with South Alabama Gas about the bore project on S. Main. Current estimated cost to have this work done is in the area of $12,000.00. South Alabama Gas said they did not have a 12" bore but if the city were to purchase one they would do the boring at no cost. Bore cost $5,000.00. No Brainier.

Council person Skinner also announced he was looking for pipe for this project at a cheaper price. Current cost estimate, $13,500.00.

Council person Upton brought to the council that Evergreen has an unheralded ambassador in the name of Robert Bradley who lives on Old Greenville Road. Mr. Bradley has many accomplishment behind him and always holds Evergreens name high. Mr. Upton request permission to do a proclamation in honor of Mr. Bradley. This was granted, Council person Upton for action.

With no further business, meeting adjourned at 6:18 PM.Next meeting 6 August 2013.

Robberies in Evergreen

Even before it could officially open Cope's new Flower and Gift Shop was targeted and hit by thieves and vandals.

Just to show folks they are equal opportunity rogues, they also did the same to the next door Diamond Station. It seems somewhere during the night of the 22nd or early morning of the 23rd a group of locals decided they would see what kind of goodies they could abscond with. On Tuesday afternoon I was informed a recovery of some of the stolen goods had been made and were at the Evergreen Police Department. I went over and made a pic (see attached). Both Chief Detective Ellis and Chief of Police Simpson were on hand. I asked if any arrest had been made in the case and they both reported there had been five (5) individuals arrested but there were no names available at this time. Good work and kudos to the Evergreen Police Department for their quick work in solving this crime. More to follow later. Pictured below are the recovered items from the 22/23 July robbery.They are currently being held by the authorities for evidence.

Commission Meeting 8 July 2013

The Commission was called to order at 9 AM by Chairman Cook. Prayer offered by Commissioner Hildreth. All commissioners present except Commissioner Millender who had a doctor's appointment. The agenda and past minutes were passed by unanimous vote. Under payroll/personnel report, 1 new hire at the animal shelter. 6 hours of over time at the jail. There were 7 claims over the $500.00 limit under the general fund and 2 over the $3000.00 limit under the gasoline fund. Approved by unanimous vote. Ms. Covan announced that one of the "over the limit" claims was for a new heating and air conditioner for the back portion of the animal shelter building. Also, she said she had a requisition and bids for a new refrigerator for the animal shelter. Of the 3 bids on hand, it was decided to accept the South Alabama Gas bid of $500.00, passed by unanimous vote. Mr. Bobby Skipper, Evergreen Economic Director came before the commission to discuss to request they pass a resolution to assist in doing some "in kind" work with site preparation at the Industrial park. Resolution was introduced and passed to do this in kind work up to a limit of $15,000.00. Mr. Skipper also asked about a stretch of road known as the old Burnt Corn Road that is located at the 96 exit. He said he had researched and in 1956 that area containing the road had been deeded to the county by a private individual. Mr. Skipper was concerned and wanted to make sure ownership of the road would not become a stumbling block for potential upcoming negotiations. During the course of discussion on these proposals it was announced that at the next work session, scheduled for 4 P.M., 22 July it would be discussed about making both commission meetings start at 5 P.M. in the evening. Mr. Johnny Brock, EMA/E911 director spoke of the 3 named tropical storms that have already occurred this year. He emphasized that we should remain in a state of readiness and be prepared. He also spoke of the weather phenomenon that came through last Friday resulting in several trees being felled across County Road 29. Mr. Brock is working closely with grant writer Cara Stallman in acquiring funding to train for handling a hazardous material spill. It is estimated $7,500.00 will be needed to cover the cost. Mr. Brock stated there have been some changes in EOP and he has covered these changes so the county will continue to be eligible to receive EOP grant funds. He also notified the commission he had been re-elected to the position of area 1 director for another year. Next on the schedule was bid openings for the job of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Project Management. Only one bid came in and this from National Grant Management LLC, a corporation owned by Ms. Stallman. The bid was in the amount of $11,786.00, 3/4 of which will be paid by grant money leaving the county to pay the remaining 25%. The commission voted unanimously on a resolution to accept the bid offering. County Engineer Winston Foshee spoke on a need to swap out gravel dirt pits. He also stated he has been unable to make contact dealing with the RMS. County Administrator Judy Covan spoke to the commission on Government Center air conditioning problems. She recommended holding this discussion until maintenance man Harper could be on hand. The sound systems in the court rooms were also discussed and thoughts offered as to how to improve the sound system. A motion to move from regular session to executive session to discuss pending litigation was passed at 9:42 AM. Reconvened into regular session at 10:12 AM. After coming back into regular session the news media was asked if they had any questions. None. Motion to adjourn made and passed at 10:16. Reminder next meeting will be 22 July with work session starting at 4 PM. Topics for work session will be: Employee over time, the old Burnt Corn roadway and moving both commission meetings to 5 PM

City Council 9 July

The Evergreen City Council meet at 6 PM, 9 July 2013.

Call to order by Mayor Wolff followed by invocation by Mike Lanier. Roll call revealed all council members and mayor on hand.

During the open session two gentlemen representing Bonaventure Fire Co. Inc. spoke to the council about a Rosenbaum aerial fire truck they had brought to Evergreen as a display model. They discussed how Rosenbaum is the maker of the finest fire trucks available, how Evergreen needed to upgrade because of the expansion occurring and the cost/interest factor Evergreen could acquire the truck at. They are offering a 2.9% interest rate with the first payment not due until August of 2014. This truck is a 100 foot high ladder platform to work from and, with the taller, higher hotels and motels being built will become a requirement for Evergreen. An added side benefit for the citizens of Evergreen is the ISO rating that comes with this type of truck. The increase in ISO rating should have a significant impact on homeowner’s insurance rates. Attorney Hartley stated that the city must adhere to the competitive bid law prior to any agreement for something of this nature. The company owner told Mr. Hartley that a law on the books removes this item from the bid law requirements. Long story short, Mr. Hartley told them to get him all the info on this and the city will re-address it at the next council meeting on 16 July.

The agenda was approved.

The mayor’s comments were short and brief, the roof on the fire house leaks terribly and must be repaired. A request for bids will be let. The mayor and Mr. Skipper also introduced an idea for a LED lite sign for someplace downtown. He had pictures of on he had taken in a nearby city. After some discussion it was moved to table this pending further information.

A review of accounts payable, income/expense report and minutes of the previous meeting were approved unanimously.

Old Business:

Superintendent Jeff Sullivan reported on bid results for the repair and paving of Thomas Road. Wiregrass had the lowest bid at $39,000.00+. It was voted to move forward with this project.

Mr. Lawrence Wilson of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood recommended awarding the Industrial Park Access Road bid. R & R Contracting was low bidder at $117,000.00. This will be to completely redo approximately 300 feet of road including the loop by the spec building. It will start by Conecuh Sausage and go to the lower driveway of Evergreen Transportation. This will require a $47,000.00 match from the city. Approved by unanimous vote.

Superintendent Darrell Davis was unavailable for the meeting and 2 items he had on the agenda were tabled until the next meeting.

Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil reported on the progress of the city clean up. Council person Upton asked about the 3 houses on North Main, the house on South Main and the house on the Old Greenville Road. Mr. McNeil stated the city was prepared to move forward on the houses on North Main although people have move back into them. I believe those three building will disappear soon. As to the South Main and Old Greenville Road situation Mr. McNeil stated there are continuing on-going negotiations with the owners.

Economic Developer Bobby Skipper made another presentation why Evergreen should upgrade to the improved utility and software for the utilities systems. He asks that resolution 2013-070901 be passed. There were 2 options offered and a motion was made to adopt option B which was a complete upgrade. Passed by a vote of 5 ayes, Ms. Fountain abstained.

2 Invoices for Middleton Airfield Runway Marking Grant were approved. One in the amount of $33,373.41 and one for $7,002.32. This is to come from grant money and received a unanimous vote.

An invoice of $21,927.43 was presented for approval dealing with the sidewalk improvement. This is an estimated invoice. Approved unanimously.

Committee Reports:

Council person Skinner reported plans for the concession stand/bathrooms for the park area had been acquired at no cost. Bids for construction are being run now.

Council person Upton requested the part pond be closed for the morning of 3 August to accommodate the D. A. V. youth fishing tournament. Approved unanimously.

Council person Harris spoke of the speed brake on Pecan Street. She requested another speed brake be placed on Pecan St. to assist in stopping the speeders. Approved.

Mr. Sullivan advised the council he was still working with ALDOT and CSX on the Kings Crossing situation and to please have patience. It's in the works but.....

Council person Fountain asked about the Carver Rec. Center roof. This is an already approved project, just need bids for repair.

The June 2013 payment by vendor report was approved.

Mr. Sullivan spoke on a situation at the Evergreen Airport dealing with appearance and grass cutting. He announced there were 421 acres of grass to be cut at the airport and, although he'd managed to crisis manage getting it cut in the past, he requested that either it be bid out or he be allowed to hire additional people to keep it mowed. He spoke of the new appearance Evergreen is attempting to project and how this is a detractant. Mr. Sullivan was authorized to shop for bids and/or hire part time help to get this done.

A request to purchase a generator to assist in monitoring the lagoons was made by the sewer department. Cost $2,200.00. Approved unanimously.

A discussion about a boring on South Main Street was next on the agenda. Two 8: holes, one in 150: length and another in 220" length are needed. Council person Skinner will see if South Alabama Gas can perform this for the city.

Two travel expenses in the total amount of $17.40 were approved.

The Evergreen Baptist District Association Congress of Christian Education asks for permission to hold a parade Thursday, 18 July from 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM. Approved unanimously.

Motion to adjourn passed at 7:16 P.M.

Next meeting 16 July at 6 P.M

White House Response

This is the White House response to a letter I wrote about the importance of the 2nd amendment.

Dear James:

Thank you for taking the time to write. I have heard from many Americans regarding firearms policy and gun violence in our Nation, and I appreciate your perspective. From Aurora to Newtown to the streets of Chicago, we have seen the devastating effects gun violence has on our American family. I join countless others in grieving for all those whose lives have been taken too soon by gun violence.

Like the majority of Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that has been handed down from generation to generation. Hunting and sport shooting are part of our national heritage. Yet, even as we acknowledge that almost all gun owners in America are responsible, when we look at the devastation caused by gun violence—whether in high-profile tragedies or the daily heartbreak that plagues our cities—we must ask ourselves whether we are doing enough.

While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm should not be a divisive one. Most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale. Most also agree that if we took commonsense steps to curtail gun violence, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown. We will not be able to stop every violent act, but if there is even one thing we can do to reduce gun violence—if even one life can be saved—then we have an obligation to try.

That is why I asked Vice President Joe Biden to identify concrete steps we can take to keep our children safe, help prevent mass shootings, and reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. He met with over 200 groups representing a broad cross-section of Americans and heard their best ideas. I have put forward a specific set of proposals based off of his efforts, and in the days ahead, I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality.

My plan gives law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals, and the public health community some of the tools they need to help reduce gun violence. These tools include strengthening the background check system, helping schools hire more resource officers and counselors and develop emergency preparedness plans, and ensuring mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence. And I directed the Centers for Disease Control to study the best ways to reduce gun violence—because it is critical that we understand the science behind this public health crisis. From improving mental health services to looking more closely at a culture that too often glorifies violence, we must leave no stone unturned when working to keep Americans safe.

As important as these steps are, they are not a substitute for action from Congress. To make a real and lasting difference, members of Congress must also act. As part of my comprehensive plan, I have called on them to pass some specific proposals right away. First, it is time to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun. Second, Congress should renew the 10-round limit on magazines and reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban. We should get tougher on those who buy guns with the purpose of selling them to criminals, and we should impose serious punishments on anyone who helps them do this.

These are reasonable, commonsense measures that have the support of the majority of the American people. But change will not come unless the American people demand it from their lawmakers. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love. We owe the victims of heartbreaking national tragedies and the countless unheralded tragedies each year nothing less than our best effort—to seek consensus in order to save lives and ensure a brighter future for our children.

Thank you, again, for writing. I encourage you to visit to learn more about my Administration’s approach.


Barack Obama

Commission Mtg. 24 Jun 2013

A 45 minute work session was held prior to the scheduled meeting. The Conecuh County Commission met at 5 PM, 24 June 2013. Call to order by Chairman Cook, prayer by Mike Lanier followed by the pledge of Allegiance. Roll call showed all commissioners on hand. The agenda and minutes from the previous meeting were approved unanimously. Payroll/personnel report included 1 new hire in the engineering department for an equipment operator 3. There was 1 separation, a correction officer from the jail. The sheriff's department had 18 hours of overtime. All was approved by unanimous vote. The general fund had 2 claims in excess of the $500.00 limit, one for $1,405.00 and another for $942.00. There were no claims over the limit for the gasoline fund. Approved by unanimous vote. The hiring for the animal shelter chief impounding officer was next. County Administrator Judy Covan announced the 3 member panel conducting interviews recommended the position go to Sidney Lambert. Commissioner Andrews made a motion to hire Lambert for the position and it was seconded by Commissioner Hildreth. Motion passed unanimously. Johnny Brock, EMA Director, announced there was grant money available dealing with the hazard mitigation plan. He stated any grant monies would require a match but the match could be an in kind service. Requested he be allowed to send a letter of intent to apply. Request approved. Mr. Brock also announced the money was available for the safe rooms. He advised anyone that had applied for one of these safe rooms must use the manufacture named in the original application. He also stated the purchaser must pay the completed cost and they would be reimbursed by the government. This reimbursement will be 75% of the cost up to a total of $4,000.00. County Engineer Foshee spoke to the commissioners of the 4th of July work week. It was determined the engineering department workers would take annual leave during the week. It was questioned as to how the standby crew should be paid. Long discussion ensued with the final determination being a determination would be made later. Hillcrest High School has requested the commission purchase an ad in their football program. This typically happens each year. The commission voted to purchase a $175.00, full page ad. They are standing by for a request from Sparta also. The recent proposal to purchase another motor grader for District 3 was discussed. Total cost $215,000.00, will be financed over a 5 year period. Chairman Cook asked Commissioner Millender to give a report on the 43rd annual ATRC workshop he attended. It was announced the next meeting would be 8 July at 9 AM. There will be a solid waste management meeting at 5 PM on 18 July. There were no comments from the news media. Meeting adjourned at 5:30 PM.

Council 20 June 2013

The Evergreen City Council met at 6 PM, Thursday, 20 June 2013, the first meeting after the elections. Call to order by Mayor Wolff with invocation offered by Mike Lanier. Roll call showed all members present including the newly elected Chad Miller representing District 2. There were no visitors for the informal session. The agenda was approved unanimously. Mayor Wolff gave his thanks and congratulations to all that were sworn in after the election results were completed. That swearing in was based on a Federal mandate. The accounts payable and minutes of the last meeting were approved by unanimous vote. Old Business: Superintendent Jeff Sullivan reported the Department of Natural Resources had completed an exam of the park pond with favorable results, however there is an over abundance of bass from the 14" level down. Fishermen are encouraged to keep their bass catches, most especially if under 14". It was determined that approximately 40 grass carp be introduced to assist in controlling vegetation growth. Mr. Sullivan has for action. Mr. Sullivan announced the contract with UniFirst Uniform Service was expiring and recommended renewal. He said he had contacted the company and they would accept a renewal at the same rate. Approved by unanimous vote. Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil gave a report on city clean up. He spoke of a building on McMillan St. Mr. McNeil has been in contact with a company that will demolish the building at a cost of $375.00. This building has already been condemned. Attorney Hartley advised to take pictures, tear down and send the bill to the owners. Council person Upton asked of the residences on South Main and Old Greenville Road. Attorney Hartley advised to follow the ordinance. The next item, approval of a billboard, was placed in a hold status. Economic Director Bobby Skipper introduced resolution 2013-062001 dealing with IDB loan guarantee for Mr. Jessie Lett's business. A conditional guarantee for loan repayment was made and passed. Mr. Bobbie Skipper asked for approval of a statutory Deed for an area on Liberty Hill Drive. He was directed to turn this over to the Cooperative District members who will handle it. A payment to C Thornton in the amount of $51,190.28 for sidewalk work was approved. Committee Reports: Superintendent Sullivan asked for funding and approval to do a repaving/repair on N. Main Street at the same time work is being done on S. Main. Repairs/repaving on N. Main to go from the intersection of Hwy. 31 to the R/R tracks. Compliments on the sidewalk work. Thomas Road bids should be received soon. Ball tournament started Thursday night at the park. New Business: It was approved for City Hall and Library to close on 4 July. City employees will take a vacation day for Friday, 5 July. Passed unanimously. Michelle Hunter with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood spoke on contracts for an airport grant and GMC contract. The city will have to meet 5% of the grant monies which equals $6,459.43. unanimous vote. Mayor Wolff asked that a 2000' extension to the N-S runway be looked into for cost and feasibility factors. That would give Middleton Field a 7,000' runway. It was approved by unanimous vote that the Civil Air Patrol be allowed to use Middleton Field for a campout September 13-15 with rain days of 27-28 September. Superintendent Davis sent in a list of surplus property recommended to be sold. It included a Generator, Copy Machine and an Aluminum Boat. All equipment declared surplus by the council. Mr. Bobby Skipper reminded the council that they should soon look at upgrading the computer and software systems at City Hall. It was announced that 3 more fast food restruants were looking at locating at exit 96. Also, hopes are out that 2 large anchor stores will come into the area. A citizen has already secured bank approval to open a laundromat in the downtown area. Guyoung Tech has requested a place for a Korean Dorm be set aside. This is to house the supervisors/trainers that will be coming to the area with the Kia Engine Plant. This is expected to materialize around the October time frame. A motion to go into executive session was approved at 6:45 PM. Return to regular session at 6:50 PM. A motion to adjust Mr. Bobbie Skippers pay was approved by unanimous vote. The next regular scheduled meeting is on the 4th of July. A motion to move the meeting to 9 July was approved. Motion to adjourn.


Congratulations to Luther Upton on his win of City Council District 3 representative I'm sure you will be on board to move Evergreen forward for the next 3 years. Joye Fordham ran a clean campaign and simply came in second. Congratulations to you also.. I know both of you will pull together to make good things happen for us. Final vote count:

Upton 203

Fordham 111

David Moody Fund

David Moody lost his life in an automobile accident on 26 July 2013 while traveling to Lake Martin with his wife and 2 dogs. He was struck from behind by another vehicle, he spun out and started to flip over. During the course of his vehicle turning cartwheels he was ejected from the vehicle and when found, was deceased. One of the dogs was also found deceased and the other dog is missing. His wife Tina was taken by life flight to a Montgomery Hospital where it was determined she had a broken arm. David was a long time manager of Wal-Mart in Monroeville and always did what he could to help people, both customers and employees. Now there's a family left behind that needs assistance. He had 2 children by a previous marriage and of course, Tina. Some of the people on the lake have started a fund to help David's family out. I'm attempting to put a link to the contribution site on this site. No amount is to small, when a family is in need anything helps. Please do what you can to help this family.

Thank You.

How Do You Say Goodbye?

Life is a funny thing, everyone wants it and wants to enjoy it yet from the day we are born we are dying. The only difference, it comes fast for some slow for others. Those that go fast seem to leave the hardest mark on all involved.,

This past week I lost a friend but my son lost a near and dear friend. David Moody, former manager of the Monroeville Wal-Mart was killed in an accident near Fort Deposit, Alabama on I-65. He was struck from behind, the car rolled 3 or more times and he was ejected from the vehicle. His wife was injured and life flighted. She was released with a broken arm after a short stay.

David was a jovial man with a good sense of humor and, although some people may not believe this, he tried his best to look out for the people working for him.

He was a young 55 years old. He had two children by a previous marriage. He and his current wife Tina had been married for only a short period of time.

I appreciated David for the way he befriended and helped my son Jimmie. Jimmie has always had high work ethics and good reasoning ability. During his time working with David as a co-manager David afforded him the opportunity to develop himself into a fine store manager by providing guidance and counsel but primarily by getting out of the way and allowing him to spread his wings.

Jimmie is now a store manager in Colorado and doing well, thanks to David for the help there.

I feel a great sense of loss for I too liked David and enjoyed his company on every occasion we had together. Jimmie is so, so hurt and distraught over this needless accident.

As I travel the interstate (and other roads) it's nothing unusual to see drivers texting, reading or having some other type of distraction.

I do not know what the driver that hit David from the rear traveling down the interstate was doing but I'm sure it was something that could have easily been cured with a little due diligence on their part. If they were sleepy, pull over, if they were texting, was a human life worth that message getting out?, if reading, hopefully it was a good article. Whatever the reason, inattention cost my son and I a person we though highly of. Now there's a relatively new wife without a husband, there's two children left with no father. What ever that driver was doing I sincerely hope they will be able to live with the devastation they've caused to touch so many people.

David thank you for being my families friend and most especially, than you for being my son's friend. I'm sure you've gone to that place where peace reigns eternal and you will have that rest you so richly deserve.

James Leon Windham



President Obama's remarks toward the Supreme Court about the decision dealing with the revocation of a portion of the 1965 voters rights acts.

I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision today. For nearly 50 years, the Voting Rights Act – enacted and repeatedly renewed by wide bipartisan majorities in Congress – has helped secure the right to vote for millions of Americans. Today’s decision invalidating one of its core provisions upsets decades of well-established practices that help make sure voting is fair, especially in places where voting discrimination has been historically prevalent.

As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists. And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination. I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls. My Administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process.

Commission meeting 10 Jun 2013

Commission Mtg. 10 June 2013

Call to order at 9 AM by Chairman Cook, prayer by Commissioner Hildreth followed by the pledge of allegiance.

Roll call showed all commissioners present.

The agenda, minutes of the special call meeting of May 21, 2013 and the regular minutes of the meeting of 28 May, 2013 were approved by unanimous vote.

Under payroll/personnel report there was 1 new hire for the jail department and 1 separation from the sheriff’s department. There were 21.5 hours of overtime from the sheriff’s department and the sheriff placed the commission on notice that they would be picking up sex offenders so there will be several more hours of overtime forthcoming. The payroll/personnel report was approved by unanimous vote.

Under claims: The general fund which has a limit of $500.00 there were 4 claims over the limit. The gasoline fund, limit of $3,000.00, there were 4 claims over the limit. The claims report was approved by unanimous vote.

Chairman Cooks made a report on the Counties Solid Waste Management Plan. He stated that it must be amended and rewritten in 2014 but actually needed to amend immediately. Part of the requirement to amend is to hold a public hearing between 30 and 45 days after it is introduced. Commissioner Cook asked to hold public hearing on 18 July at 5 PM in courtroom B. The public is encouraged to submit written questions or attend and ask questions. There will be another meeting schedule for the commissioners to respond to any questions received (written or oral). A motion to hold the hearing on 18 July passed unanimously.

Grant writer Cara Stallman spoke to the commission on the grant money for the safehouse project. She stated there will be a meeting with all 34 people who submitted a grant request on 18 June at 3 PM in Courtroom B. A motion accept resolutions dealing with the grant monies was approved by unanimous vote. The resolutions deal with the standard of conduct for the safe room money and the methods of procurement of the funds for the grant. The grant will only cover 75% of the cost up to a maximum cost of $4,000.00. All motions passed by unanimous vote.

County Engineer Winston Foshee gave a report on the status of the ATRIP projects. He advised we are into round 3 of the grant money. Round 1 and 2 are virtually complete. When round 3 is completed Conecuh will be enjoying approximately 65 miles of newly paved road.

Mr. Foshee was asked about the cost factor of putting lines on the newly paved roads. Mr. Foshee stated that the cost was approximately $2,000-2,500.00 per mile per stripe.

Bush hogging will be finished this week provided bad weather does not set them back.

County administrator Judy Covan told the commission the school tax holidays are set by the state and this year they are from 12:01 2 August-midnight 4 August. The commission voted unanimously to accept these dates as tax exempt days for back to school items.

The contract for the printer in the commission office needs renewal. Cost is $1,100.00 per year through Prentiss Inc. Unanimous vote to renew contract.

Ms. Covan said she had prepared a letter to the commission dealing with the 20% oil money special fund voted on at the previous meeting. The Bank of Evergreen is the bank selected to establish the account. A motion and vote to permit this account to be set up was passed.

The job position for the Chief Impounding Officer will be closed effective 14 June 2013.

Motion to go into executive session to discuss matters of commerce/trade was made, 2 and passed.

Executive session started at 9:37 AM.

Regular session resumed at 10:15 AM.

Chairman Cook appointed Commissioners McCreary and Andrews plus Ms. Covan to conduct interviews for the Chief Impounding Officer Position when the merit board has finished ranking the applicants.

Next meeting will be 24 June with a work session to start at 4 PM. Commissioner Andrews asked if he should make the motion to move the morning meeting to 5 PM in the afternoon. Chairman Cook recommended holding off on that and advised the others to give consideration to move the morning meeting to 5 PM.

There were no comments from the news media.

Meeting adjourned 10:16 AM

City Council 4 June 2013

The Evergreen City Council meet 4 June 2013.

Mayor Wolff called the meeting to order at 6 PM, invocation by Mike Lanier with roll call showing all members present.

There were no visitors to appear during the informal session.

The agenda was approved.

Mayor Wolff announced there would be a testing of the electronic voting machines at the Depot this Saturday. It is open to the public.

The Mayor announced the paper work for a Super Foods Store has been signed.

It was also announced that Mr. Jessie Lett and wife's business will be hitting the ground running. No real estimate on the number of employees yet but appears it will be one of the better employers for the area.

A review of accounts payable, income/expense report and previous minutes were approved unanimously.

New Business:

Superintendent Jeff Sullivan discussed Thomas Road, the road going to Westside Church. He stated he had conferred with county engineer Winston Foshee about widening the road from it's current 12' span to an 18' span from Hwy. 83 to Westside Church. Mr. Foshee gave an overall estimated cost of $46,500.00 (+/-) 10%. The county has agreed to assist improvements and widening the shoulders.

The council voted unanimously to allow Mr. Sullivan to proceed in getting bids for this work.

An invoice in the amount of $142,025.00 from Beasley & Company for the Park Grading Project was approved. Superintendent Sullivan stated this company was an absolute pleasure to work with.

An invoice from Robbie's dozier service in the amount of $257,418.64 was approved. This dealt with the Fairview Commons work. A few more small invoices are expected but the project in most assuredly within budget.

Committee Reports:

Council person Upton proposed the city continue to fund the Economic Development Project. Cost is $150,000.00 per year. Motion made and passed.

Council person Skinner requested the improvements to the park continue with payment from the trust fund. The trust fund currently has $93,000.00 remaining. Expected cost for the much needed park improvements are in the range of $70-80,000.00. This will include an improved, hopefully 3 story building for concession stand, viewing platform for media and several other uses. Passed unanimously.

New Business:

The May 2013 payment by vendor report was approved.

Mr. Brian Martin was on hand to announce the start of the Cal Ripkin tournament. 12 year olds will start on the 20th. There will be 7 teams in this group in competition.

A motion was made and passed unanimously to change the next council meeting day to Thursday, 20 June. This will stop a conflict with election day.

Superintendent Darrel Davis was given permission to bid materials for the Liberty Hill Gateway Project water and sewer system.

Mr. Davis advised the council they needed to approve the CSX contract for the sewer repairs at Kings Crossing. Approved by unanimous vote.

It was approved for BB&T banking to finance the 2011 Ford truck.

Travel expenses for 2 people to attend rural water training was approved. One request in the amount of $11.00, the other at. $7.89.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 PM

Owassa Brownville Water meeting 3 Jun 13

The Owassa Brownville Water Authority held it's monthly meeting on 3 June 2013.

The meeting was called to order at 6 PM by Chairman Dees at 6 PM with all board members on hand. Prayer was offered by Chairman Dees.

The agenda and previous minutes were approved by unanimous vote.

The system totals report was adopted with no questions.

The profit and loss statement showed an income of $51,100.73 and an expense figure of $94,819.16, a difference of -$43,718.43. Under the expenses it listed new equipment at a cost of $55,645.60 for the trucks that were ordered. They had stated in the past that a loan was procured to purchase the trucks but the loan does not show up as income yet the cost factor shows in the expenses. The response when questioned was basically "that's just the way it comes up in the computer." (As I interpret it, the statement should show a positive $11,927.17, unique bookkeeping."

There was no new business to come before the board.

Old business: Water operator Richardson reported he had obtained 3 bids for the repair/replacement fencing at the water system locations. The bids are as follows:

Stewart Fencing (Evergreen) Replacement cost only $7,894.00

Mendoza (Brewton) Repair $6,125.00 Replacement $7,246.00

Mills (Atmore) Repair $13,195.00 Replacement $15,120.00

Ms. Deason made a motion they accept Stewart Fencing, 2nd by Mr. Vickery and passed by unanimous vote. It was noted this is part time work for Mr. Stewart who works full time at South Alabama Gas therefore there was no expected completion time listed.

It was noted that the trucks and 2 portable buildings discussed at a previous meeting would be listed for sale in this addition of the local paper. Bids will close at 12 PM on 1 July and will be opened at the OBWA meeting that night.

It was noted that the OBWA had an awards ceremony on Friday to honor the services of Morris Brown, Eugene and Lillian Darby and W. R. (Ronnie) Shaver.

Under the operators report it was reported that a service hose on the back hoe had blown. The unit had to be transported to Capitol Tractor in Montgomery for repair. It was also reported the lines in Cohassett had to be flushed on Memorial Day weekend. A water leak was discovered and repaired in the Owassa community.

Motion to adjourn was approved at 6:33 PM.

30 May 2013

Yesterday Tess and I went to Greenville for the sorrowful task of helping our son and family prepare to move to Colorado, already a sad task for us, just to far away.

As with every time one moves, you realize how much "stuff" you should have gotten rid of before now. Well, as with just about everyone I know, too many clothes, too many clothes, too many clothes.

We loaded up the back end of his little pickup and took off for Goodwill in Greenville to make a donation. We get to the Goodwill center, my son goes in and they tell him to pull into the back to unload, which we do. We get to the rear and parked near the loading docks, got out and started carrying boxes and hanging clothes to the docks for the folks on hand to move inside.

I don't know if the people there are volunteers or paid employees but either way, what happened next had no business happening. A lady (I use the term loosely) came on the dock just as my son was carrying an armful of clothes on hangars to the dock. She snapped out don't bring clothes on hangars, we don't want clothes on hangars, these are not the type hangars we use. I find it difficult to think she could have been more hateful in her delivery of that statement. I was up by the truck getting another armful of stuff and turned and asked her if she wanted us to take the clothes back?

Let's get this straight now. Goodwill accepts donations then puts a price on them and sells them therefore making everything a virtual profit but they have someone there (volunteer or not) that's going to chew you out for the deep seated offense of bring them clothes on hangars.,WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE? You may rest assured had that been me bringing those things up there I would have busted a gut putting them back on the truck.

I got the number for Mr. Gary Oos, the supposed supervisor for that store, and relayed to him what happened. You could tell by his voice "he'd get right on that."

The overall consequences are this for sure. The Greenville Goodwill Store will get squat from me. I'd rather take a chance of being charged with littering than to take anything to those who turn profit off mine and your donations and display attitudes such as that.

Little Engine That Could 28 May 2013

Probably a misleading title but it got you here anyway and it is about a little engine that could, a little fire engine, the building housing it and those great people that voluntarily man it.

I'm referring to Flatrock Fire Department, one of the very best managed and manned VFD's in our county and to what can be accomplished if you keep a positive mindset to things.

I bumped into Mr. Aubury Padgett the other day and we chatted for a while about a recent grant the Flatrock group had been awarded.

Seems they managed to get $123,000.00 in grant monies to be spent on turnout gear and truck equipment. As I understand it, $38,000.00 is earmarked for the truck equipment and the remainder goes toward the turnout gear.

One might say goodness that's a lot of money for turnout gear but let's try to put it in a perspective easier to understand. These are the folks that go into burning houses to try and save your lives, possessions, pets, you name it. When it's getting so rough the rats are leaving, these are the people going in and I personally want them to have every piece of protective equipment possible 'cause if they're willing to risk all for me I want them to have that chance to make it back out again.

I'm not a fire fighter but I did go to some fire fighting schools when I was in the Navy. Seems they want to train you to protect that boat regardless and, if you look around and see what's available to you off the boat, it'll make you want to protect it too. I only know of one man that walked on water and treading it for extended periods of time is not appealing.

I remember how we had to have protective clothing, mask, gloves, glasses, boots, breathing apparatus and all that good stuff for our practice runs and I know firefighters of today need the same and more.

Flatrock Fire Department consist of a great group of people who constantly hone their skills and keep abreast of what's happening in the fire fighting world. I'm so glad they were awarded this grant and I thank those who stayed diligently behind it making it happen.

I know Mr. Aubury is proud of "his" fire department and I know they are proud of him.


At 10 AM this morning the members of D. A. V. Chapter 72, Andrew G. Faulk, held a Memorial Celebration at the Evergreen-Conecuh Veterans Memorial.

The formalities of posting the colors, the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance led off the occasion. Invocation was given by D. A. V. Chaplain, Reverend Michael Jackson.

D. A. V. Member James Leon Windham was the Master of Ceremonies in a program that earned several compliments and featured Congresswoman Martha Roby and Doctor Barry Booth as the guest orators.

All elected officials in attendance were recognized by D. A. V. Member Luther Upton.

Congresswoman Martha Roby was next and was properly introduced by James Leon Windham. Ms. Roby serves on virtually every committee dealing with our military, retirees and veterans. She has in fact made three 3 trip to the Middle East while serving in Congress.

Ms. Roby's speech spoke highly of the sacrifices made by those in uniform but she also cautioned all not to forget those spouses and children who bear the strain of a loved one gone for long deployments.

A listing of Conecuh Counties Casualties from WW I thru the Middle Eastern Wars were read by D. A. V. Members Nathan Strong, Luther Upton and Spencer Taylor.

Mr. Jonathan Ryland, a local music teacher and extremely talented musician held the crowd spellbound with a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace played on the violin.

The wreath laying ceremony was conducted by all Purple Heart Awardees followed by the playing of Taps while everyone stood.

D. A. V. Member Luther Upton introduced Doctor Barry Booth. This were two 2 Khe Sanh veterans re-affirming their friendship and service. Doctor Booth spoke briefly about the honor flights which he sponsors. In fact one of the attendees was a local WW II veteran who had participated in the last Washington, D. C. Honor Flight.

Doctor Booth commended the D. A. V. Chapter on the fine monument erected in Evergreen. He also lauded Evergreen and Conecuh County for its recognition of it service people saying they set the standard that others should work to attain.

The Benediction was given by D. A. V. Chaplain Michael Jackson and everyone relaxed and enjoyed the moment. Old friends, old classmates, old veterans all in a setting where everyone was on equal ground and appreciating what those no longer with us has given so we may have celebrations such as this.

A special thank you to Sagitarius Entertainment and Ms. Johnette Jones for consenting to be our on hand source of music and thank you for the touching variety of patriotic songs.

Also a big thank you to Mr. Andy Session who always helps us out in a bind. Welder extraordinary, no task to hard, no job to big.

Mr. David Thomas with the parks department who always manages to get chairs and tables set up for us. Thank you and your team.

Hats off to the Red Hat Ladies who turned out in full force to add beauty and color to our occasion.

Last but certainly not least, thank you Chief Simpson and your entire force. Seems as if you and you people respond constantly and consistently in a positive manner any and every time we call on you.

A true icon of all that's good for us. Congresswoamn Martha Roby featured guest speaker at the Memorial Celebration, Evergreen-Conecuh Veterans Monument, Evergreen, AL 29 May 2013

Poll Results From the Evergreen Election.

ADC endorsed candidates

Run Offs

Mayoral Results:

D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 ABS Total

Wolff: 166 236 236 82 74 131 925

Fluker: 106 57 99 172 140 123 697

Taylor: 22 8 15 27 28 25 125

District One: D1 ABS Total

Skinner 152 24 176

Booker 76 5 81

McDaniel 42 16 58

Chavers 23 3 26

District Two: D2 ABS Total

Miller 211 35 246

Skipper 90 17 107

District Three: D3 ABS Total

Upton 177 23 200

Fordham 133 34 167

Godwin 36 2 38

District Four:

Fountain Unopposed

District Five: D5 ABS Total

Harris 143 10 153

Cunningham 98 20 118

After Remarks:

Lots of outside activity. Understand the absentee ballots are being reviewed by a Federal agency. Saw Ed Packard from the Alabama Secretary of State office on hand last night.

Some rogues moved around trying to intimidate poll workers and voters. You Slugs.

It appears the ADC endorsement did not help in anyway. No one with that endorsement won office.

Congratulations to all the winners. Better luck next time to those not finishing 1st.

And for the run-offs, good luck to all.

Stopped by the Farmers Market today to see how things were going. Seems the folks that brought picked and ready items in were having difficulty trying to live in the heat.

It appears the $5,000.00 grant for the Farmers Market that was awarded a while back has gone by the wayside.

Today was voting day in the city and guess where the tents, tables and chairs that were designated as Farmers Market items went? Why, they were set up outside polling areas where folks could answer questions and direct traffic.

I felt sorry for the guys working the market what with no shade to be had there.

That $5,000.00 was not awarded for the city to have tents, chairs and tables during voting time but was designed to give the merchants a place to set up and have a little shade.

Shame on the politics for harming the poor farmers.

Based on information furnished by one of the farmers on hand.

I have received a report from the city this information is not accurate and I am looking into that. More to come.

A chat with Bryan Martin today sheds a little different light on the canopy tent, tables and chairs situation.

Seem there was a $5,000.00 grant designated for the Farmers Market and it was used to purchase canopy tents, tables and chairs for the market. The problem is, the Farmers Market has no real place to store these items to keep them safe and secure. They are, therefore, kept by the city who orchestrated the grant and are locked in a trailer.

The tents, chairs and tables used by the election monitors were not those purchased for the market.

Mr. Martin said he'd received a phone call about getting those items over to the market place and that he had explained he would not be able to handle that due to duties he had helping to take care of the election.

It seems some cross words and hurt feelings occurred from this on both sides but I personally think it was just one of those things that perhaps escalated beyond what it deserved.

I've personally talked to the Mayor and Brian and we're doing a little brainstorming as to how to get things set up so this does not happen again.

Shame on me for not gathering my information better. I am sorry.

I cannot argue with the statement that a Strong Leader is Equipped by God, but then I served with some might good folks in the military.

Awful lot of stuff there to lay claim too.

For those not able to think on their own and unable to pick a candidate, just take one of these ballots to the polls with you and follow it. On the other hand, if you can think for yourself and have picked a candidate, toss them where they belong and vote like a real American.

Sorry about the side ways posting but you do the best you can with what you've got.

In the event you're having a hard time reading the "ballot" the ADC has endorsed Larry Fluker in all districts. For Coiuncil person for each district the ADC has endorsed Trent McDaniel in District One, Diane Skipper in District Two, no one in District Three, District Four only has one candidate and in District 5, Katrenia Cunningham.

This is a follow up story to an article already written and in the archives section. It deals with a Monroeville business and their quest to get a business licenses.

It seems Mr. Johnny Johnson, owner of Fresh Produce was unable to purchase his business licenses. A touch of history to this story, Mr. Johnson was an adamant non-supporter of Circuit Judge Dawn Hare and was very vocal about it. The city attorney for Monroeville is Mr. Chipper Hare, husband of the former Circuit Judge. Can you start to get the picture yet?

Long story short, the Monroeville City Council voted at their last meeting to allow those merchants who had not purchased their business licenses to do so. Saw Mr. Johnson today and he informed me he'd picked his up yesterday.

Glad to see Mr. Johnson is still in business, to say the least, he has a very interesting place filled with antiques, useful items, plants, food stuffs and almost anything you could want.

Stop by and see him during a visit to Monroeville, you'll find yourself in conversation with a very entertaining individual.

Emergency call commission meeting

The Conecuh County Commission convened an emergency call meeting 21 May 2013 to discuss pending litigation.

Call to order by Chairman Cook, followed by prayer and pledge.

Motion to recess from regular meeting and reconvene in Executive Session. Approved by unanimous vote.

The press was assured that no action would be taken upon termination of the executive session.

Conecuh County Commission 13 May 2013

Meeting called to order by Chairman Cook at 9 AM, prayer by Larry Ryland followed by the pledge of allegiance.

Roll call showed all commissioners present, the agenda was approved, as were the minutes of the previous regular meeting. The 29 April special call meeting minutes had questions raised about them. Commissioner Millender recommended the county administrator listen to the recording of that day and perhaps rewrite the minutes. Those minutes will be reviewed at the next meeting. The minutes of the emergency called meeting of 3 May were approved.

Payroll/personnel report reflected 1 new hire in the tax accessors office and 2 separations, 1 from the sheriff's department and one from Government Center security. There were 14 hours of overtime submitted by the sheriff's department.

Under claims there were 6 over the general fund limit and 2 over the gasoline fund limit. Approved by unanimous vote.

Reverend Dorothy D. Davis received a proclamation presented in honor of her work as founder and president of Ladies in Fellowship Together. Presented by Chairman Cook.

Mr. Luther Upton spoke on the behalf of the D. A. V. monument committee thanking the commissioners for the work they did getting the asphalt pavement in place. Mr. Upton asked if they cared to place a plaque at the monument. The general consensus of the commissioners were they did not desire to place a plaque there. The previous commissioners donated and helped in a generous amount toward the monument and had voted last October to place a plaque there. I'm a little unsure but I believe the current commission agreed to honor the vote of the previous commission and pay for a plaque to be placed at the monument.

AT&T Rep. Ms. Armbrect spoke of improvements in the area made by AT&T. She talked of high speed Internet being available in a 4G manner. She encouraged folks to stand by an observe AT&T as it made improvements.

Sheriff Booker was next on the agenda and allowed Mr. Blair give his presentation on the current status of repairs to the jail. Currently there are several cells and dorms that are virtually unusable due to need of repairs in the shower and toilet areas. There is also a need for lights to be repaired in the jail. The final decision was, Mr. Blair will return during the working session of the next meeting with a progress report as to how things are coming along. Sheriff Booker put in another request for a full time maintenance person for the jail. The purchase of a $20,000.00 finger print machine was approved.

There was a discussion on claims submitted by the jail. Ms. Covan for action.

Mr. Johnny Brock, EMA director reported the grant money for the safe rooms is now available. Please do not take any action until first getting with Ms. Cara Stallman who will be handling the grant funds.

County Engineer Winston Foshee was unable to attend but Ms. Covan advised the commission that Mr. Palmore had retired from the county after more than 20 years service. Proclamation to be forthcoming.

Ms. Covan advised a renewal of the property appraisers contract was overdue. Voted unanimously to renew.

A letter of resignation from the Conecuh County Department of Human Resources Board was placed in a hold status.

A job description for the position of Chief Impounding Officer has been submitted by the merit board. It placed the person at a grade 10 level. Commissioner McCreary expressed concern that grade 10 was to high a level for that position to start out. Commissioner Millender agreeded. Mr. Andrews moved to get the position approved at the grade 10 level but was unsuccessful. The consensus was to return the description and pay level back to the merit board for further evaluation.

Commissioner Andrews reported that he had attended a regional commission meeting where the "meals on wheels" project was in line for a heavy hit. Cuts in funding ranging from $200,000.00-$570,000.00 have been forwarded. There is to be a public hearing held on this on Thursday. As of now the time and location are unknown to me but anyone with question please call the County Administrator for information.

Chairman Cook announced the next commission meeting will be held Tuesday, 28 May. It is being slid one day due to it falling on Memorial Day.

There were no comments from the media and the meeting was adjourned at 10:15 AM.

Conecuh County Commission meet at 5 PM on 28 May 2013 after conducting a one hour work session.

Call to order by Chairman Cook, prayer by Mike Lanier and the Pledge of Allegiance.

All commissioners were present for roll call, the agenda was approved as were the minutes of the Emergency call meeting of 29 April and the regular meeting of 13 May.

Under the payroll/personnel report, there is 1 new hire in the sheriff's department. A part time cook. There were 6 hours of overtime for the sheriff's department.

There were no claims over the limit in either the general or gasoline fund requiring approval.

Mr. Otis Palmore was on hand to receive a resolution from the commission on his long time service to Conecuh County. County Engineer Foshee was called upon to present the plaque to Mr. Palmore. Mr. Foshee spoke highly of Mr. Palmore's dependability and performance for the past 23 years of service. Congratulations Mr. Palmore.

Chairman Cook discussed a proposal whereby the county would create a 20% savings account to be taken from the oil monies. The proposal was made with the thought in mind that at no time would the remaining money set aside for road repairs drop below $320,000.00. A motion was made to adopt this program and make it retroactive back to March. Passed unanimously.

Mr. Johnny Brock, County EMA directory reported the county is on speed to get the grant monies issued for the safe houses program. This program will be administered by Ms. Cara Stallman, grant rider. A meeting has been scheduled for 18 June at 3 PM for all persons getting these shelters.

Mr. Brock reminded the commission that hurricane season starts 1 June and it is being forecast this year will be 70% more active.

Mr. Brock also reported the last EOP meeting went well.

Mr. Winston Foshee, County Engineer, advised the commission the Crowder Gulf debris removal contract needed renewing. This will be the last renewal allowed on this contract. They can be renewed for 1 year and continue through 3 years before they must be renegotiated.

Ms. Judy Covan informed the commission that Ms. Mary Skipper has the proposed website for the county in hand and is taking action to get it up and running.

Ms. Marion Booker remitted a letter of resignation to be removed from the Human Resources Board. The commissioners reluctantly accepted.

The job description for the position of Chief Impounding Officer was re-introduced. The merit board set the position at a grade 9 with pay at $10.54 per hour. Commissioner Andrews questioned why the pay was set so low (see report for previous meeting) when this person was going to face so much responsibility. Commissioner Hildreth wanted to know about the qualifications of persons applying and how they could meet the requirements set forth, such as euthanizing the animals. Commissioner Millender advised Mr. Hildreth to read the job description. To end it all, a motion was made and seconded with all commissioners voting in favor except for District 3 Andrews, who voted no.

Ms. Covan advised the commission that a audit must be done for the county to keep it's current good credit rating. The last complete audit done was 2009/10 time frame. She also stated that Hartman, Blackman and Kilgore was standing by to assist with the audit. Additional cost to the county from Hartman, Blackman and Kilgore for these services will be $5,400.00-$7,200.00. They must be audited for the 2 years missed since the previous audit. Unsure if the Hartman, Blackman, Kilgore cost is a one time thing or is for each audit. It will require a change order to the current contract in effect.

A request for a merit board pay increase from $25.00 per meeting to $50.00 per meeting was approved.

Chairman Cook announced Ms. Angie Boutwell, humane society member, was donating a refrigerator to the animal shelter and the commission voted to purchase a washer and dryer for the shelter. Cost $669.90 from low bidder South Alabama Gas.

The previously reported cut dealing with meals for seniors has not yet been passed and opposition is still being mounted to save this for our citizens.

Motion to adjourn at 5:55 PM approved.

The Evergreen City Council was called to order at 6 PM on 21 May 2013 followed by the invocation delivered by Mr. Mike Lanier.

Roll call showed Ms. Fountain missing, all others present.

During the informal session Mr. Palmore came before the council asking if Thomas Road, the main drive to Westside Baptist Church, could be widened. He stated that 2 vehicles could not pass by each other, that one must stop and pull over as far as possible.

The council agreed to look into the situation and take any corrective action possible.

A group of hotel owners came before the council to discuss the impact of the head tax the city has proposed and passed but no yet implemented. The largest complaint they had was the already booked corporations that had been granted rates. They stated that the corporate offices have stated they will book rooms else where if they are forced to pay the additional monies.

The council decided to hold a special work session to discuss how to handle this problem. Date to be announced.

The agenda was approved unanimously. The mayor had no comments. The review of accounts payable was approved as were the minutes of 2 previous meetings.

Old Business:

Economic Development Director Bobby Skipper asked the council to pass a reimbursement resolution for monies spent at the Exit 96 project. This money will be recovered from the bond issue in work now. Mr. Skipper also ask the council to pass a resolution allowing for a line of credit to keep the work going at Exit 96. Any money used from this will be reimbursed from the bond issue also. Mr. Skipper assured the council the bond is approved and they should have the money in hand in 18 days. This is a 1 Million Dollar bond issue. Resolutions passed by a vote of 3-1 with Ms. Dianne Skipper being the dissenting vote.

Cara Stallman, grant writer, was next on the agenda. She asked the council permission to move forward with a grant request for generators. Approved.

She also spoke of the park's trail grant. She presented the council with 2 plans dealing with the trail walk. One was for a 12' wide walk and one for a 6' walk, both constructed from asphalt. She recommended the city strongly consider the 6' wide trail. Also, she desires to request more grant monies for the city. The catch to these grant monies is, the city must meet a percentage of the monies granted.

Committee Reports:

Council person Harris asked of the status on mobile homes being granted permission to be placed in the city. Long discussion dealing with the formation of a planning committee to assist the city in possible zoning changes allowing the introduction of trailers. All issues deferred to the next meeting when it is hoped Attorney Hartley will be able to give solid legal advice on the situation.

Council person Upton stated his subject had been broached before but needed readdressing at this time. He wanted to know if the city could restore power to the boyscout cabin behind the Veterans Monument. Motion was made that, if legal, the city would re-establish power.

New Business:

It was announced City Hall would be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

Superintendent Darrell Davis asked the council to review the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention (MWPP) report outlining problems with the city sewer system for last year.

Mr. Davis also requested permission to purchase trench boxes for the sewer department. Granted.

Mr. Davis also asked for permission to purchase a vacuum truck for the sewer department. Permission granted to explore for prices and address at next meeting.

Mr. Todd Bethune, Water Department, asked the council for permission to purchase an extended cab pickup for the water department with the current truck being given to the waste water department. Request was approved by unanimous vote.

Mr. Brian Edwards, Waste Water Department, requested permission to line the sewer pipe on Hwy. 31 in front of the old Food Giant. A busted sewer pipe makes this a necessity.

3 invoices dealing with the runway grant were approved.

The Crowder Gulf Pre Disaster Debris Removal Contract was renewed by unanimous vote.

A request from Casey Propane to continue leasing the tank storage space was renewed.

Motion to adjourn approved at 6:50 PM.

Council, 7 May 2013

Call to order by Mayor Wolff at 6 PM.

Invocation by Lee Peacock.

Council person Harris missing at roll call.

No visitors to appear in informal session.

The agenda was approved.

Mayor Wolff had no comments.

A review of accounts payable was approved unanimously as was the income/expense report.

The previous minutes were approved.

Old Business:

The appointment of persons to the planning committee had been addressed at the last meeting. It was decided to amend the requirement and make the planning commission consist of 5 persons. Attorney Hartley will have everything complete paperwork wise at next meeting and each council person is task with nominating a person from their district for this commission.

Superintendent Sullivan presented the results of pricing for the timber tracts on Wild Avenue and Factory Street. Mr. Sullivan stated timber prices are terrible and there is no real revenue to be had by selling it. It was his suggestion that Wild Avenue be clear cut and Factory Street be left intact. Unanimous vote to that effect.

Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil presented his report primarily dealing with putting a trailer on S. Shipp Street. Attorney Hartley advised the council that the area must be rezoned to accommodate the trailer and spot zoning was unacceptable. Mayor Wolff told Mr. McNeil the old Texaco Station needed clean up. To Mr. McNeil for action.

Economic Development Director Bobby Skipper spoke on the minority business plan the Lett family is attempting to move forward. He talked of the finances the Lett's have to put into the business and how much they needed to borrow. It appears the Lett's are bringing both retail and manufacturing to the city.

Mr. Skipper also spoke on a group of clients that have made agreements with the city to bring businesses here. He stated a sporting goods store will be making a press release soon. There are approximately 6 other businesses that have supposedly signed agreements but nothing can be released on them. The long awaited grocery store is supposedly signed too.

The results of the recent audit for 2012 were available and discussed. The representative of the audit firm told the mayor and council the city had a reason to be proud. In these economic times it was difficult to find many cities, especially those the size of Evergreen, to be solvent and actually have money in the bank. The city has a A credit rating among other things.

Two invoices for the sidewalk project were approved. C. Thornton, Inc. $125,670.23 and Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood for $36,36296.

The pyrotechnic contract for 4 July fireworks was approved.

Committee Reports:

Mr. Sullivan announced that some damage to a city roads infrastructure had been damaged by a contractors vehicles. The contractor made all necessary repairs.

Council person Upton asked that bids be solicited for the old activity center on Magnolia Avenue. Currently Reverend Michael Jackson is attempting to prepare this building as a Veterans temporary housing area. Motion to all bids carried.

Council person Skinner stated the park is looking good. The rain did bring some set backs. He asked if they could move forward with the renovation/building of a field house could move forward. Yes.

New Business:

Payment by vendor report approved.

Love's 10th quarter Payment was approved. ($37,990.82

The Audited Financial for 2012 were approved.

The Leads On Line Total Track Plus metal theft investigation system was approved for renewal.

Chief Simpson's request to attend summer conference in Orange Beach 29 July-1 August with a $200.00 cash advance was approved.

It was recommended to move forward with the radio read meters.

Adjourned at 7:08 PM

Executive Session/Special Meeting opinion

I am advancing in age so I know my memory fails me on certain occasions and on certain things but............ Seems I remember just a few months back (before Nov. 13th) there was an ongoing hullabaloo about how the commissioners spend to much time keeping things secret with all of those "Executive Sessions."

Well folks, yesterday, 21 May, I attended the SECOND (2ND) special call meeting in less than a month where the commission body went into executive session. There was also another special call meeting during that time that did not go into executive session. Let us not forget that secret meeting held on 3 April either.

These meetings are in addition to the regularly scheduled meetings.

So much for all those big words about open government and how executive sessions will become memories once the new group takes over. Remember that fresh breeze blowing across Conecuh. Has the stench hit you yet?

Emergency Commission meeting 29 April 2013

Got to the emergency called meeting of the county commission approximately 30 minutes late today.

Seems the big emergency dealt with District 3 Commissioner Andrews needing a motor grader.

When I arrived Commissioner Millender was offering a suggestion that they take a little more time and allow County Engineer Foshee an opportunity to research a possible way to cover the situation without the county going deeper in debt.

Commissioner Andrews immediately made a motion to do a lease/purchase on a new motor grader for a minimum of 1 year. Motion seconded by Commissioner Hildreth. When put to a vote, motion passed by majority vote. District 5 Commissioner Milldender voted nay.

Floor opened for comments by Chairman Cook. Mr. Jerome Boykin spoke of the terrible condition of the Springhill Road. He stated there were 27 residents within a 0.7 mile length and it was a shame the way they were treated. He made remarks about how difficult it was for the school bus to make it through after inclement weather.

After the meeting adjourned Commissioner Cook asked Mr. Lee Peacock and myself if we had anything. I responded with a question dealing with the monument and plaques. I asked Mr. Cook if the current commissioners were going to honor a vote made at the 22 October 2012 meeting where the previous commissioners voted unanimously to purchase a plaque to go on the monument. Mr. Cook stated this will be an issue addressed at the next regular scheduled meeting.

I'd like to compliment Lee Peacock on his coverage of the meeting. As stated I was unable to be there at the start of the meeting but did get in on the tail end and witnessed the vote to purchase the motor grader. I also was there when Mr. Boykin spoke of the Spring Hill community and the road conditions there.

Mr. Boykin pointed out there were 27 residents on a 7/10 mile stretch of terrible road. A road so bad that, in fact, it is difficult for the school bus to make the trip. I cannot disagree with the fact that those residents are indeed black. As to whether or not they are being ignored because of their race I cannot answer. A commissioner is elected to serve the needs of the county and the citizens therein and all should be treated equally.

I do believe the current group of commissioners have yet to meet a dollar they weren't ready to spend.

Just to point out a few things that most don't know is going on with the commissioners, in January they voted, after a motion made by Commissioner Andrews, to hire Hartman, Blackmon and Kilgore, P. C.'s for the price of $23,000.00 per year. Their duties are to consist of formulating reports to assist the commissioners to stay within their budget. This would not be a bad idea but why spend an additional $23,000.00 to pay for something the county administrator could pull up with just a few strokes on her computer keyboard.

Another issue that was debated heavily was a payment to Lyeffion Water System to do a partial payback for the water system having to re-route a water line. The point of debate centered around what would the commission do should another water authority request help. The total amount of the bill was $18,500.00 and a motion was forwarded by Commissioner Andrews to pay it in full. That motion failed by not receiving a 2nd. Commissioner Hildreth then made a motion to pay $10,000.00 of the bill, this motion passed.

Now we come to the motor grader. The previous commissioners had a system worked out between them whereby some of the districts with less miles of dirt road would assist in those districts bordering them with their dirt road upkeep. I know Mr. Byrd assisted district one and three with grading. I know Commissioner Millender assisted district three. The county has five separate districts and, as of now, each district has it's own motor grader. That equals five motor graders, apparoximately 400 total miles of dirt road and one motor grader should be able to handle 100 miles of dirt road. Should we build more dirt roads to accomodate this extra grader? What happens when we purchase another? Do we have to hire more operators to make the other one move? This investment is approximately $200,000.00 and who knows what comes on the other end. Would this money be better spent on paving projects (such as Springhill). I know the county engineer did not support this purchase but four of the commissioners rushed to support it after Commissioner Andrews made a motion.

It's amazing during the previous term I didn't hear of anyone complaining about the dirt road conditions in the Sandcut area. I am prone to believe what Mr. Millender says of the animosity between Mr. Andrews and himself and how it is affecting the operation of the commission.

It seems that certain commissioners now in office talked of kingdoms the previous commissioners ran. What are we doing now? It seems certain persons are attempting to allow personal feeling to get in the way of common sense and doing what's right.

I'd like to take a moment to point out the oath the commissioners took when they entered office. I'd also like to remind them they are the stewards of our county and it's assets. Even though we are blessed with oil revenues as of now, one day that will be gone. Lots of comparison was made between the commission's oil money and the school board's oil money. Superintendent Brogdan was praised for his management of oil funds and how he has money in the bank. Can we say the same for the current group of folks managing the counties money.

A commissioner should have an agenda, not an issue.

Owassa Brownville Water Authority 6 May 2013

The Owassa Brownville Water Authority met 6 May 2013. The meeting was supposed to start at 6 PM but as per usual, Mr. Dees was tardy to the meeting and it simply cannot start nor be held without him being there.

Meeting called to order at 6:05 PM. Prayer by Mr. Doug Brown. All board members present.

A motion was asked for and received to follow the agenda. Only agenda's available was for board members.

Motion to adopt previous minutes (something new every time). Approved.

Everyone waited patiently while copies of the system totals were prepared. The were finally handed out. Final figures showed a 13.48% unexplained water loss. Mr. Brown remarked they had a pesky leak somewhere and had been unable to locate it. Perhaps after the rainy weather goes by it can be found.

Motion to adopt systems total. Approved.

Profit and loss statement handed out. Motion to adopt. Approved.

Under new business it was noted the construction company they had employed was finished. The cost was a little over the estimate but they also had some extra work done. They are paid in full.

3 new trucks are paid for. Lights must be put on them.

Old business: When new trucks are up and going the old ones will be placed on a bid list. Also, 2 portable buildings are on hand. They went into a discussion on issuing bids and letting it run in the paper. Decision finally made that the ad will be placed in the paper and bids will be opened at the July meeting.

The plaques that were ordered in recognition of Ronnie Shaver and Eugene Darby's service to the OBWA are in. Chairman Dees asked if any contact had been made with Ms. Darby as to when she could be on hand to receive the plaque. Ms. Darby is not able to drive the trip and her daughter is busy helping Larry now so it's unknown when she can come. I noted there were 4 plaques laid on the table.

Dealing with the plaques, Mr. Richardson announced that they had sorta taken a vote and added "that one." I'm unsure of which one he added but I know that nothing has been addressed in an open meeting of adding anything to the original proposal of the plaques.

Mr. Richardson stated he had gotten the plaques at Jus' Do in Brewton and had taken the liberty of ordering new magnetic door signs for the trucks. He also discussed having the exterior sign at the water authority changed out. Motion made and seconded to change exterior sign. Approved.

Mr. Richardson asked if the board desired to move forward with acquiring bids to replace the chain link fence. Discussion lead to doing something with the construction money. Mr. Dees is under the impression that it must be spent within 1 year, others seem to think 3 years. Business secretary will find out for sure. Motion approved to get bids on fence replacement/repair.

Mr. Dees makes remarks about how proud he is of the direction OBWA is now moving in. Seems they are now showing a profit and holding their own. He went on to make remarks about how Lyeffion water system had to ask the county commission for help. I took the opportunity to advise him of what had transpired at the commission meetings with the Lyeffion system. His reply was his only information was what was in the paper.

I had noted on the profit/loss sheet the only directors fees mentioned was the amount of $200.00. I asked if the directors had taken a pay cut and was informed that, with the exception of Mr. Vickery, their pay was figured into the salary base.

Stand by folks, sounds like a way to cover a pay raise without receiving to much publicity.

Mr. Dees announced he was thinking about having a work session in the near future and inviting their attorney and the public and open up a discussion for questions and answers.

Motion to adjourn. Approved 6:25 PM

Emergency Call Commission Meeting 3 May 2013

For the second time in a week I make a county commission meeting.

Call to order at 9 AM by Chairman Cook followed by the pledge of alleigience.

Roll call showed all on hand.

Motion to go into executive session made, seconded and passed.

To discuss pending litigation.

Executive session ended at 9:40 AM.

Return to commssion chambers and listen to a motion to adjourn.

Seconded and passeed.

Meeting adjourned at 9:41 AM

County Commission Mtg. 22 April 2013

Conecuh County Commissioners spent the day at the Government Center going over the county budget.

At 3 PM a work session was called to cover planning purposes for the 5 PM commission meeting.

The meeting was called to order at 5 PM by Chairman David Cook, invocation was delivered by Mr. Winston Foshee followed by the pledge of allegiance.

All commissioners were at roll call. They approved the agenda and minutes from the previous meeting by unanimous vote..

Payroll/personnel report showed 1 new hire as a part time maintenance person, 1 separation from the animal shelter and 1 promotion to certified deputy. There were 45.5 hours of overtime. All approved by unanimous vote.

County Administrator then asked the commission if Ms. Ruby Straughn, clerk, could attend a payroll seminar in Montgomery on 12 June. This is within her work area and will serve to make her more proficient. Approved unanimously.

The Lyeffion Water System re-addressed their situation with cost associated to the water system and asked the commission for assistance. County Attorney Anthony Bishop stated Code 11-88-13 did give the commission authority to assist. The total bill was $18,325.00 as per Mr.Steve Dunn. Commissioner Andrews made a motion the commission cover the full cost, motion died due to a lack of a second. Commissioner Hildreth then offered a motion the county pick up $10,000.00 of the cost, motion seconded by Andrews. During discussion Commissioner Millender asked how request such as these would be handled in the future. After discussion, motion passed by unanimous vote.

An application for an off premise sale of beer and table wine for Christine's Grocery was approved by unanimous vote.

Commissioner Hildreth presented a motion that the county pay up to $1,500.00 for asphalt to pave the parking area of the Evergreen-Conecuh Veterans monument. Included in this motion was delivery by county trucks. Motion passed unanimously.

A job description for the position of Chief Impounding Officer is completed. It was voted unanimously to send it to the Merit board for a pay grade classification.

EMA Director Johnny Brock was out of area attending a meeting for dealing with the upcoming hurricane season. Mr. Cook advised that since last meeting an accident on County Road 6 required a diesel cleanup. Also, 2 Emergency Operations Plan meetings have been conducted, there will be a 3rd meeting next month. Any and all commissioners are invited to attend.

County Engineer, Mr. Winston Foshee announced the county has received 5 of the 7 dump trucks however there is a problem with one of them. He also stated that an industrial assessment of County Road 29 toward Owassa had received approval in the past. This assessment gave a 50% coverage of needed repairs but this same area had been picked up under ATRIP grants which only required 20% match. Mr. Foshee sought permission to attempt to move the Industrial grant to a section of road not covered under ATRIP. (C. R. 6 from Lennox to Hwy. 41) Motion to allow Mr. Foshee to move forward passed unanimously.

Mr. Foshee advised the commission that Mr. Ricky Wallace is tasked with mowing certain areas during the spring/summer months and his area of responsibility has increased. He has been working with a push mower but that has become impracticable. Mr. Foshee request the commission consider purchasing a riding mower from Triple J at a cost of $2,064.00. Approved.

Commissioner Hildreth removed himself from discussion or voting on this issue citing a possible conflict of family interest.

Mr. Foshee told the commission a debris removal contract will need to be passed. This is the 3rd and final year of a continuing contract renewal. This will be addressed at next meeting.

County Attorney Anthony Bishop addressed the commission on a major malfunction dealing with workmans comp. for 2 workers from years back. These workers are no longer employed by the county but at their time of termination from county employment they were drawing compensation that did not stop. The state employee's insurance board had continued to pay them to the ultimate tune of $285,344.84 however, $140,062.00 was recovered. The Insurance Board has asked the county to repay $144,742.84 which may be paid in a 60 month (5 year) payment plan.

Mr. Bishop said that both he and Ms. Covan had searched and researched county paperwork in an attempt to find out how this could happen but had been unsuccessful in determining what went wrong. The possibility of attempting recovery from the individuals was addressed without much hope there.

Bottom line, the commission voted to repay in monthly payments of $2,412.38 starting in June.

County Administrator Judy Covan advised the tax levy resolution for 2013 needed passing. Unanimous vote.

A proposal for janitorial services to include the District Attorney's office passed by unanimous vote. The D. A.'s office will pay the initial $100.00 fee. Cleaning cost will be $258.00.

A job description for Chief Impounding Officer has been devised. The commission board voted to send it to the merit board so they may establish a pay grade for it.

Another tax abatement for Guyoung Tech was brought forward in the amount of $12.5 million. Approved.

It was noted the commission meeting scheduled for 27 May would be in conflict with Memorial Day. Moved and passed to hold the meeting on 28 May.

Chairman Cook recognized Sheriff Booker who requested the commission allow him to hire a part time cook for the jail. Granted

Mr. Thad House, Lyeffion Fire Department was recognized and announced that through the fire associations work, a grant of $1 million dollars had been obtained. This grant will go toward upgrading communication in 911 and all fire departments. This was an effort of 4 years work. Good job to all involved.

Meeting adjourned at 5:53 PM.

7 April 2013

Well, there I was all decked out but evidently no place to go.

Seems when I bonded out of jail the wrong date was put on my appearance paperwork. It will go in front of the fall grand jury and we'll see what happens from there.

Monroeville Dinning

Well, as luck would have it and as circumstances dictate it, Tess and I found ourselves in a position whereby we needed to make a trip to the big city of Monroeville, AL., home of "To Kill a Mockingbird."

While there we got that age old feeling of hunger and thus began the "hunt."

We got to the Sweettooth just in time to see the last of the buffet being moved away. Those pangs of hunger were getting worse and I knew for the sake of my own survival I needed to find a place soon. (Tess can become a touch grouchy when she needs food).

Not really being in the mood for fast food, she suggested we go to Radley's, a nice sit down place with a touch of atmosphere.

We were somewhat in doubt that it was still open when we arrived but a lady came from inside moving toward a vehicle in the parking lot. Turns out it was Ms. Pat, a looooonnnng time employee of Radley's. She hollered across to us to "go on in and get comfortable, I'll be with you in a minute."

We made ourselves at home and relaxed at a comfortable table. Pat was with us in a jiffy. She said during the lunch rush hour she moves her vehicle out of the way to accommodate parking but when the crowd slows down she puts it back in the front so folks will know they are open.

Not our first visit to Radley's (but it has been a while), Tess and I perused the menu. Pat was Johnny on the spot with fresh, cool sweet tea. She informed us the grilled chicken was the special of the day and it did come with fries. Being a Baptist I look upon chicken as a Gospel Bird 'cause that's what Sunday dinners are made of. Even though it wasn't Sunday, chicken still sounded good. (Besides, it was the special).

We both decided to have the grilled chicken and sat back chatting, sipping on tea and waiting for our food. Sure didn't have to wait long before a delightful plate full of fries, bun, chicken breast and all the goodies that go with it was placed in front of us.

There was a little cup of something I didn't recognize on the plate and I asked Pat about it. She called it Popper sauce. It was a delightful mixture of good stuff that we put on our sandwiches and, Pat shared the recipe with Tess.

Long story short, a great meal, great service, (Pat said she'd worked there since 1986? and that she loved her job. That part about loving her job showed just by the way she handled business). The food is a little pricey but not anymore so than the newly opened Bubba's Bar-B-Que or the Shrimp Basket in Evergreen. Anyway it goes, if you get good food, good service, good attitude and a pleasant place to sit, relax and all the iced tea you can drink, that little extra touch of cost is negated.

I certainly recommend you try Radley's if you're in Monvoeville and the hungries hit you. If you talk just right I'm sure Pat will share that recipe with you too.

Killer Amongst Us

A brief stop by Luther's house this afternoon found him and Ms. Molly sitting on the freshly cleaned back deck enjoying the evening and watching the birds fly into refresh themselves at the generously filled feeder.

Taking a seat and joining in the conversation Tess and I casually watched the birds gather in the trees. Imagine our surprise when we saw a BUNCH of grackles, a non-desirous bird species that has a tendency to push the other nice birds to one side.

We observed redbirds, indigo's, doves and others but there's those pesky grackles. After explaining to Luther what they were and what they did he sent Bush to get his trusty BB gun. A few pumps on the gun and walla, it's time to try it. The sniper eyebrows raised, eyes distended he slowly raised the weapon to the horizontal position and pulled it tight against his shoulder, his finger curled gently around the trigger. The sound of the gun discharging it's little metal circle of death rang throughout the neighborhood with a mighty puff.

Leaves flew from around the bird but alas, it hit the airwaves and didn't look back. In fact, I thought I heard a laugh but I'm not sure.

We sat there for a while longer watching his prowess with the ever popular Crossman but, much to his disdain, nothing happened except some BB's were liberated.

Taking our leave, we departed Upton station and started home. Somewhere around the old "S" curve the phone rang. It was Molly letting us know that eagle eye had succeeded in putting one of those pesky critters on the ground.

Congratulations Luther, you've certainly earned the title of "Killer Among Us." Many happy returns and protect that feeder from those bottom feeders.

16 April 2013 City Council

Call to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff with invocation by Mr. Mike Lanier.

Roll call revealed all present.

Informal session had Pastor Agnes Green requesting the use of Middleton Field 17 May through 26 May. Passed by unanimous vote.

Mt. Zion Church asked permission to have a yard sale on 1 May. They will use the space across the street from the herb shop and belonging to Tim Covin. Passed by unanimous vote.

The agenda was approved.

Mayor's Comments: ALADOT has been in contact with the city. They have conducted a study on the lighting at exit 93 and have deemed it as warranted. It will happen, just have patience. They also recommended a speed reduction at the city school. Expect to see 35 MPH signs appear soon. There is a 50% cost share for the city which equates to $12,000.00. Motion made to do it to protect our children. Passed unanimously.

Accounts payable and the previous minutes were approved without opposition.

Old Business:

Mr. Bob Carter gave a report on progress for the Fairview Commons Drive Project. He stated the recent rain had saturated the ground and hampered work but progress is being made now that it's dried out some.

It was announced the sewer project for that area was ready to commence. A motion for approval was made and passed by unanimous vote.

ATRIP project for South Main is funded and will be handled by the Alabama Hwy. Department.

Superintendent Jeff Sullivan reported on the bids for mosquito control. Only one bid response from Lewis Pest Control. Cost is up by 21% over last year as the EPA is adding more and more restrictions as to what can and cannot be used. The control spraying period is from May through October, cost of $13,000.00. Approved unanimously.

Cara Stallman, grant writer, reported the CDBG sewer improvement application was ready for submission again. She needs resolution. Una. approval.

The council approved a resolution to apply for generator grant. In conjunction with this, they also approved the request to an advertise and proposals resolution.

It was also necessary the council pass a resolution dealing with standards of conduct on procurement policies. Approved, unanimous vote.

Mr. Bobby Skipper spoke on a previous approved program dealing with minority businesses. This is a pilot program and Mr. and Ms. Jesse Lett have been selected as the first minority business to be placed in this program.

Mr. Skipper also gave a summary of 2013 City of Evergreen Utility bond issues.

Next on the agenda Council person Upton introduced and made a motion that a firearm ordinance be approved. Mayor Wolff 2nd and discussion followed. Council person Skipper stated she had received many phone calls and visits from people opposed to this ordinance. Council person Skinner voiced the same. Call for vote, 2 ayes (Mayor and Upton}, 3 Nays (Skipper, Skinner, Fountain), 1 abstain, (Harris).

Two invoices for the sidewalk project were approved. C. Thornton Inc. $195,375.14 and Goodwyn, Mills, Cawood $24,921.10.

Compliance Officer Booby McNeil reported that research showed approval for zoning could not be limited to a lot, must include an area. This is in response to a wish to put a trailer in an area not zoned for trailers. Zoning measures were discussed briefly with the attorney advising that should a re-zoning be attempted, there must be a public hearing among the other residents. It also came to light the city needed to form a planning committee and each council person was tasked with bringing a name of someone from their district to be placed on the planning committee. It was determined to wait until Attorney Hartley was available to continue the determination on the trailer request.

Under committee reports Council person Skinner stated the park is doing well and looking nice.

Mayor Wolff thanked Council person Skinner for the check from South Alabama Gas for $10,000.00 for the cities economic development fund.

It was announced that next Wednesday there will be a client will be signing to come to Evergreen. This will happen at the Depot.

Superintendent Sullivan said ALADOT has conducted a survey and study of the flooding on 31 in the curve area in front of the old Food Giant. The state has progressed to start an inspection of facilities and a cost analysis.

A $500.00 fee to continue membership in the Alabama Rural Water Association was approved.

Mr. Sullivan stated there is a cooperative agreement for the city to maintain the upkeep of the hill at the Fairview Commons once it is cut down. He informed the council ALADOT did want a resolution to that effect. Passed majority vote, Council person Skipper did not indicate a vote either way. Also, the power company needs to apply for a permit.

Motion to adjourn passed 7:02 PM.

Be alert restaurant owners.

Seems there's a rash of break-ins and robberies going on in the Evergreen area.

Restaurants appear to be the prime target with problems reported at Wing-It and Bubba's.

All this has occurred just this week, (22 April 2013).

Break-ins seem to occur after closing. Money appears to be the motive, target is $.

Anyone with information please contact Evergreens Chief Detective, Mike Ellis. 578 1111.

Thanks for your help, let's work to clean up our streets, city and county.


Residents of the City, prepare to vote whether you want to or not.

Seems the Federal Judge involved in the voting issues case filed against the city of Evergreen has dictated the elections will be held on 21 May. Furthermore, the judge has dictated which voter list will be used.

One more great step for justice.

I think I understand why the plaintiff's want the election to move forward now. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 which dictates to several states, counties and cities "rules" that must be followed dealing with district changes and voters list may well become defunct in June or at least sometime this summer.

The Supreme Court has this voters rights act under review. This came about because of a lawsuit brought by the residents of Shelby County Tennessee . Should this act be overturned or reversed, that could throw a real monkey wrench in some plans.

If the current districts and voters list for Evergreen stands, there can be no district changes until the results of the next census are reported (2020). As to the voters list, it appears the plaintiff's in the suit are getting their cake and eating it too.

I know there was a "special master" (term used by the courts) appointed to oversee and make recommendations to the court dealing with the election. I also know the "special master" recommended to the courts that at least a one month delay take place in order to put together a good and valid voters list. (Seems the old list was destroyed by the previous administration).

For whatever reason, the courts have ignored the recommendations of their appointed official and are foraging ahead. Not sure if there's any appeal to this or not but I fail to see how justice is being served here.

After all those years of service to this county it sure makes it hard to say portions of the Pledge of Allegiance, especially the part about "justice for all." Seems we need to make a change and say "injustice" instead.

My Opinion

Castleberry City Council

For the first time ever, I attended a Castleberry City Council meeting last night.

It was a special call meeting and was scheduled to start at 6 PM. Seems there was some confusion and it did not actually start until 7 PM. Being unfamiliar with everyone, please forgive me should I apply the wrong name to a person.

Mayor Jackson called the meeting to order at 7 PM and a word of prayer was given by council person Ball. The agenda stated the item of business was "Town's Policy & Procedure".

At 7:05 PM Council person Palmer moved to go into executive session. Motion seconded by Council person Albrecht. Passed by unanimous vote. The Mayor, council, attorney and chief of police moved to an adjoining room. This room was not soundproof and it was not difficult to hear the raised voices as things got somewhat heated.

At 7:20 PM all returned to the council chambers and moved to go back into regular session. Unanimous approval.

First order of business was a motion by Council person Palmer to relieve Frank Brown of duty. Motion passed. Council person Chris Godwin abstained.

Next item was a motion (Council person Palmer) to place an advertisement for a part time position to assist the clerk in her duties. This passed by unanimous vote.

Council person Palmer made a motion recommending the water and street department be supervised by Council person Ball. Motion seconded by Council person Albrecht. Mayor Jackson advised the council that employees cannot be supervised by them. Motion tabled until Attorney Albritton has opportunity to research.

Next was a motion for the police department to report to Council persons Palmer and Wolfe. Again Mayor Jackson stated that this was improper. As far as I can tell, this motion died. I have no listed vote for it.

Motion to adjourn at 8:15 PM

Impressions and thoughts.

Everything seems so smooth if all you do is read the report above but so much in between the lines on this.

I really can't remember when I've attended a meeting that was more like WWF Raw than this one.

Open hostility was easily visible. In fact the city attorney advised the council and audience that there should be more decorum and caution in the choice of words and manner of addressing issues, nothing should wind up being of a personal nature.

As the meeting went along people from the audience would just inject whatever they wanted to say into the discussion. No one waited to be recognized and at one time I noted at least 7 people talking at the same time. This was not limited to the audience but was the council too. It's like Rocum-Socum Robots and the loudest voice made the best point.

There were so many different things discussed one could not keep track of what was going on. The repair of the police car and issues surrounding that, the cost of an audit, the lack of work sessions etc.

Keep in mind this was a special meeting. At special called meetings it's not open door to discuss anything and everything. The only issue of the meeting should be the one listed as the reason for the special meeting.

Dealing with work sessions, it was determined that they should resume having them. It was asked if these work sessions would be open to the public and Council person Palmer stated no. At that time I stood and asked to be recognized, I then informed Council person Palmer that they could not conduct a meeting without having it open to the public. Immediately Council person Ball stated it was not a meeting it was a work session. It was quiet obvious NO ONE had ever read or received any training in ethics or the Alabama Open Meetings Act, Code of Alabama 36-25A-1.

Attorney Albritton finally injected that they could not hold a closed door work session or any other gathering. They could bar the public from injecting any questions or making any comments but they cannot conduct business behind closed doors unless in executive session.

Final thoughts and ending comments. We had a gathering in Castleberry 'cause there's no way that could be called a meeting. Almost everyone had a great time, people talked when they want too and very little got accomplished.

Recommendations: Get the council members and mayor some education in ethics as to what can or cannot be done before someone finds themselves answering to the ethics commission. Roberts Rules of Orders should not be a book that lies around gathering dust. It's dry reading but you ran for the job. As I understand it, some of the council members are not first time electives, they should have already received training and have a working knowledge of what is required. I did not see this displayed.

I suspect I'll attend another Castleberry Council meeting. It's not everyday I can have that much fun.

J. L. Walden Benefit

A little follow up to a wonderful Saturday afternoon and evening at Brooks Assembly of God Church.

A benefit for a near and dear friend, J. L. Walden, got underway at 4 PM at the church. Everything kicked off as a meet and greet social afternoon with a renewal of old friendships and meeting of new friends.

A nice crowd formed and gathered in the fellowship hall where some fabolous bar-b-que, potato salad, baked beans and a variety of deserts were served at a very "easy on the pocketbook, good on the stomach" price.

J. L. came in about 5 P.M. in a wheel chair but looking well. When I finally got the chance to talk to him he expressed the wheel chair was a nicety but not 100% needed, he could walk but just ran out of stamina. J. L. told me he felt good and was able to get out a bit. I told him I'd held off on coming by simply 'cause I was a little afraid it may put a strain on him. He assured me to not let that stop me, come by anytime and he had coffee readily available. That's temptation I find hard to resist.

We started to migrate to the sanctuary around 5:30 in anticipation of what was to come, music and auction.

There was an array of items on tables and the floor across the front. Lots of "stuff" donated to be auctioned off to help the Walden family cope with the medical expenses.

At 6 P.M. the group NEW VISION kicked off a portion of the music program with their typical great selection of gospel songs. They were without several of their key members and was using a new drummer but you couldn't tell they were hampered in anyway. Roy kept the sound mixer going and kicked in with his bangup backup guitar playing. The group sang several selections of good gospel music and kept the crowd pumped up for a good 30 minutes or so before taking a break.

The break really wasn't a break 'cause they swung ring into the auction of the goodies at the front of the stage. Roy "acted" as the auctioner (notice how the word "acted" is marked, draw your own conclusions from there). Without a lot of fanfare items were held up and the bidding started. Lots of good bargains to be had including a wonderful selection of cakes, more cakes, more cakes and some pies.

The folks cranked up their hearts and wallets and started buying everything in sight. Regardless of the cost, everything was a bargain just because of the cause it was going to.

Several bids later and a much flater wallet on my part, the musical group South Bluegrass Boys took the stage. They consisted of 4 young men (about my age) playing an electric guitar, regular guitar, resonater guitar and mandolin. Their selection of songs went back to my younger days of being in church. It was truly good to hear the older style of music and sound mixed together.

When the Bluegrass Boys finished up the auction started back. Cakes, cakes, cakes and more pies were auctioned off. I did not get all of them but I did land my fair share. The most desirable item of the night was put up for bids during this period. It was such a nice thing I'm embarassed I can't tell you the proper name of it but I'll refer to it as a do everything machine. It was an organ with so many other opitions, button and items available it could have been a one person band if that's what you wanted. This was one of those donated items everyone wants but only those with a need would bid. A price tag on the back proudly announced that it sold for $4,000.00 + when new. Well, congratulations to Brooks Assembly of God Church where a new music machine will reside. It sold at the bargain price of $1,000.00. What a deal.

The next musical group on hand to entain us was known as the Broken Stings group. As they took the stage I began to really look. It was a group of 4 young men and 2 young ladies ranging in age from 14 to 23. What a delite. They each played a different instrument. Almost anything you wanted to see except for a harmonica. They tossed out a wonderful selection of gospel songs, some were done in acappella just to show us what delighful voices they had. Their mom and dad were in the audience and I made it a point to tell them how much I enjoyed their childrens performance. In fact, there were 2 more family members that did not attend and, as I understand it, they are musically inclined too.

Wind down time for me. When you get up at 3:30 in the morning it gets ackward to keep those eyes open at 10 P.M. Just a few more cakes and pies to buy and then settle up time.

What a good eveing and what a great thing to witness the love folks can have for each other. I have no idea how much they raised in funds but sitting and talking with J. L., I don't think that really mattered to him. I think just the thought that people were willing to go to bat for him as they did put a peace and contentment in his heart.

Commission 8 April 2013

Call to order at 9 AM by Chairman Cook, prayer by Mr. Steve Dunn followed by roll call showing all present.

The agenda and minutes from 25 March were approved by unanimous vote.

There were no personnel changes to report however there were 41 hours of overtime from the sheriff’s department. Approved unanimously.

Under claims there were three claims submitted over the limit of $500.00 from the general fund. The gasoline fund also reflected three claims over the $3,000.00 limit. All approved by unanimous vote. Sheriff Booker as the payroll/personnel clerk who granted authority to place a pay cut on a deputy. Chairman Cook said they would discuss that at a later date.

Members of the Lyeffion water system came before the commission to ask for assistance in paying a bill dealing with the moving over water lines that occurred when a county culvert went bad and caused a washout impacting the water lines on County Road 29. Water system is out almost $18,500.00 and already operates on a bare minimum budget. No action taken will look at the situation from all angles and get legal input and address at next meeting.

The Evergreen-Conecuh capital improvement cooperative district or better known as the Liberty Hill Gateway Project was addressed next. On hand were Mr. Barry Staples and Mr. Funderburk, attorney and financial advisory group. Again the commissioners had more questions. Commissioner Andrews stated he felt he had insufficient knowledge on the bond commitment but was willing to put the county’s $.01 sales tax from the Shrimp Basket and the new Grocery Store toward it. Commissioner McCreary said he was unsure and had reservations. He needs information explained. Commissioner Hildreth acknowledged he was ready to commit to the $.01 sales tax agreement. Motion made by Andrews, 2 by Hildreth. Motion passed by a vote of 3 to 2 with Commissioners Millender and McCreary voting no, all other vote aye.

Next on the agenda was the Conecuh County Animal Shelter. The part time position is to be replaced by a full time Chief Impounding Officer that must be qualified to give shots when the animals come in and to perform euthanasia when it is time. A motion was made to move forward with this doing away with the part time position effective Friday. Commissioner Millender pointed out that the merit board would have to create a job description and they were a brand new board that was to meet for orientation at 1 PM this day. He recommended not doing away with the part time position until they had someone prepared to take over the new position considering they must have the job description done, advertise in the paper, have the merit board look at applications and then have the commission meet.

This was not the way the commission wished to treat the situation. Commissioner Hildreth made a motion to do away with the part time position, 2 by McCreary. Motion carried by a vote of 4 to 1 with Commissioner Millender voting nay.

Commissioner Hildreth announced he had been in discussion with DAV members about paving the parking lot at the Veterans Monument. He has made arrangements to purchase asphalt from Wiregrass Construction at a cost of $20.00 per ton. He requested a total of $1,500.00 be set aside to cover this cost. He added that he felt the commission should approve hauling the asphalt from Andalusia to the local site.

Motion made by Andrews, 2 by Hildreth and carried unanimously.

Conecuh County Humane Society was next on the agenda. Mr. Crutchfield spoke on their behalf asking for a variety of things involving the animal shelter to include being able to take animals to the Strawberry Festival (granted). He also asked that the humane society be able to collect fees and after certification, give shots and do euthanasia. The Humane Society will provide the shots. Mr. Crutchfield asked if the county was going to build up whereby they would have an employee go into the county, take abused animals etc. Mr. Cook stated not now. Mr. McCreary asked why only small animals, why not larger such as horses and cows, etc.

Mr. Andrews made a motion to approve everything the Humane Society asked for, however the motion died due to a lack of a 2.

Mr. Johnny Brock’s EMA report reminded the commissioners there would be a 2 ½ day workshop in Montgomery and encouraged any and all to go. Mr. Brock reported they covered a small gas spill in the Owassa Community. On 17 April at 9 AM a review of our emergency ops plan will be held.

Mr. Winston Foshee said he needed 2 resolutions to cover the impending CDBG water grant. Andrews made the motion, Hildreth 2 passed unanimously.

Mr. Foshee announced all our old trucks are gone and when sold, brought the county a little over $470,000.00 which will be applied to the price of the new trucks.

The ATRIP resurface project is going good.

A question about mailboxes and the new paving project brought forth that all mail boxes must be the breakaway kind. In other words, if you’ve got your mail box encased in brick, that must be done away with.

Mr. Foshee also spoke of the signs dealing with cattle crossing in our county. He said these signs were not needed and the commission passed a motion to do away with them as they became ready for replacement. Commissioner Andrews voted against this motion.

County Administrator asked the commission if they want to go forward with the mid-year budget report. This report is now scheduled for Monday, 22 April.

Chairman Cook announced the scheduled Merit Board training, a Forestry Field Day at Dr. Salome farm on 22 April and there will be a work session starting at 3 PM on 22 April prior to the 5 PM meeting.

A motion was made to have the department of Public Services conduct an audit. Passed.

Sheriff Booker asked for $3,000.00 per car for radio and lights installation.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM

2 April 2013 Council meeting

Call to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff. Mike Lanier gave the invocation and roll call revealed all present.

During the informal session Ms. Turner came forward with a request to put a mobile home on her property. A review of her property showed the area was not zoned for mobile homes as per the city ordinance.

Attorney Hartley advised the council he could change, amend or do away with the city ordinance at their pleasure. It would require a public hearing prior to making any changes.

Final decision, Attorney Hartley recommends rezoning but will research and bring back more information at the next council meeting.

The agenda was approved by unanimous vote.

Mayor Wolff commented on the relay for life program to be held at the City Park on 5 May from 6-10.

A review of accounts payable, the income/expense report and minutes from the previous meeting were approved by unanimous vote.

Old Business:

Supervisor Brian Martin reported on the cemetery mowing/clean-up bids. There was one bid submitted for both Jordan and Magnolia cemetery's in the amount of $792.00. The old Evergreen Cemetery also received one bid in the amount of $600.00. Both bids were approved unanimously.

Superintendent Sullivan gave a follow-up report on the bush hogs discussed at the last meeting. It seems that a review of the state bid list showed a bush hog of equal or better quality for $600.00 less per bush hog for a $3,000.00 savings.

The 3rd invoice from C. Thornton, Inc dealing with the sidewalk project was approved in the amount of $175,115.23.

An invoice in the amount of $24,576.06 to Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood was approved.

Committee Reports:

Council person Upton read an ordinance approved by Kennesaw Georgia in 1982 dealing with a family protection ordinance. The ordinance directed that all households were required to own and maintain a firearm and ammunition for the same. The city of Nelson Georgia currently has essentially the same ordnance in consideration now.

Mr. Upton read an article dealing with Morton Grove Illinois passing an ordinance banning guns and a comparison of Kennesaw. Kennesaw population has grown approximately 6 times over it's initial number when the first ordinance was passed. Along with that, there has been a decrease in crime. Contrary to that, Morton Grove population remains about the same but there is an increase in their crime rate.

Mr. Upton asked Attorney Hartley to prepare and have ready at the next council meeting an ordinance for Evergreen to vote on requiring our citizens to have and maintain a firearm.

Mr. Sullivan spoke on our public safety warning sirens being up and running great. He stated there is an extra siren near the old city school and recommended moving it near the head start school.

Economic Development Director Bobby Skipper presented the council with an abstract from the Shrimp Basket showing the amount of money that has been paid back in the short time the Shrimp Basket has been open.

Council person Skinner made remarks about how the park is coming along well and they will be up and looking good for the scheduled relay for life program.

Mr. Brian Martin thanked the mayor and council for their support with the ball fields and stated they will kick off their summer program on 19 April. He asked Mayor Wolff to come make the first pitch.

Ms. Nettle Watson, resident on South Shipp Street arrived and spoke briefly on her desire to put a trailer on her property. Mayor Wolff advised her that there was a study already in work, took her phone number and promised to call her tomorrow.

Old Business:

The March 2013 Payment by Vendor Report was approved.

The purchase of a new Berney copier for the Water and Sewer Department was approved.

Economic Director Bobby Skipper spoke briefly on a Donofro agreement. After a brief discussion it was decided to table this with no further action.

The council approved the "back to school" tax holiday. August 2-4 will be the days of no tax on school goods.

The Alabama League of Municipalities annual convention is scheduled for 18-21 May. It is debatable whether or not any of our council members or the mayor will attend considering that is the time scheduled for our election.

Council person Skipper brought up her thoughts on continuing to pay Coastal Gateway. She states that so far the city has received nothing for their $2,000.00 per month investment.

Council person Skipper also addressed the fact she was not pleased with the $5,000.00 paid to Mr. Bobby Skipper for the redistricting plan he drew up that did not hold up.

Mayor Wolff reminded everyone their statement of economic interest was due by 30 April.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 PM.

The ground breaking has taken place, bring on merchants and businesses, Evergreen's ready.

Evergreen moved one more step closer to becoming something less than a ghost town yesterday. Ground breaking took place at the 96 exit as dirt was being moved and surfaces prepared.

A large group of people were on hand to watch city, county and state elected officials make the initial shovel turn of dirt.

The grocery store is on the way, let's hope something else will take advantage of this prime site soon.

Pictured L-R:

County Commissioners Ras McCreary and David Cook.

City officials:

Luther Upton, Mayor Wolff (standing) Bobby Skipper (Economic Director)

Council Members John Skinner, Vivian Fountain and Dianne Skipper.

Alabama House of Representatives member Harry Shriver.

Commission Meeting 25 March 2013

A work session of 1 1/2 hours took place prior to the Commission meeting starting. The highlights of the work session centered around a series of questions dealing with the Evergreen-Conecuh Cooperative Improvement ageement. Mr. Barry Staples of Manor, Cooper and Gayle was on hand to answer questions and attempt to explain the design, outline, responsibility and direction of the cooperative. City Economic Director Bobby Skipper was also on hand to assist Mr. Staples. The first hour of the work session was devoted to questioning Mr. Staples and Mr. Skipper. The commissioners asked their questions then opened it up to the audience for any of their concerns.

Mr. Johnny Brock spoke of the need to sign and to update the EMA E.O.P plan. Described further in the commission report.

Mr. Mabry Covin and Dr. Cradall were on hand to present questions about getting assisance in moving a water line. Ultimate decision was to move this to the 8 April agenda.

The only returned bid for upgrades to software in the probate judges office were discussed and prepared to move forward during the regular meeting.

Commission 25 March 2013

Called to order by Chairman David Cook at 5 P.M. Invocation by Mr. Mike Lanier followed by the pledge of allegiance

District 3 Commissioner Johnny Andrews was missing from roll call.

The agenda and minutes for the meetings of 25 February 2013 and 11 March 2013 were approved by unanimous vote.

Payroll/Personnel report reflected one new hire in the Sheriff’s Department and one separation. Mr. Talmore retired from the Engineering Department after 15 years of service. There were 4 hours of overtime from the sheriff’s department. When questioned about this, Sheriff Booker responded he had people out sick, hurt and with family problems.

The claims report showed none above the limit requiring approval.

A resolution was read and presented to Mr. Clarence (Jamup) Hamrac upon his retirement from the county. Mr. Hamrac retired from the position of crew foreman for District 3 after 29 years of service. Mr. Jerold Dean, former commissioner of district three was on hand and presented Mr. Hamrac with his plaque. Mr. Hamrac served the county for 29 years.

Mr. Mabry Covin with the Lyeffion Water System was scheduled next on the agenda but this item received discussion during the working session and will be tabled until the next commission meeting.

Bids were let for computer equipment for the Probate Judges Office. Premise Inc. of Mississippi returned the only bid. The amount bid by Premise was $31,600.00. After consideration, this was approved contingent upon a final approval from Probate Judge Booker, Commission Administrator Judy Covan and Chief Clerk Kathy Gardner.

At the 25 February Commission meeting a resolution for a tax abatement for Guyoung Tech had passed by unanimous vote. It has been discovered that the figures for that tax abatement were transposed. The original published figure was for $23 million but should have been for $32 Million. This oversight was corrected by unanimous vote.

Next on the agenda were merit board appointments. The Government Center elects one person to the merit board as does the road department. Ms. Donna Griffin received the Government Center majority and Mr. Frank Killebrew received the majority from the road department.

The Commissioners have authority to elect three of the five total members. Each commissioner had a nomination but two of the commissioners withdrew their nominations because Ms. Griffin and Mr. Killebrew were in their districts. The remaining members elected were: Mr. Adam J. Boykin, Mr. Buddy Howington and Ms. Mary Moncrease. There will be a training session forthcoming soon where they will receive their manual and instructions on duties.

Mr. Johnny Brock advised the commission that their signatures were needed on the current Emergency Operating Plan (EOP). He also advised that there are updates and changes to the EOP that must be incorporated soon.

Mr. Brock stated that his department responded to a truck wreck in the Range community where a minor spill had taken place.

Also, there is a three day school to be held in Prattville in mid-May. He will get back with the dates. Mr. Brock encouraged the commissioners to attend this worthwhile class if they have not been.

County Engineer Winston Foshee was unavailable for this meeting.

Ms. Judy Covan, County Administrator spoke of the PALS program or the “don’t dump it on Alabama” campaign. The dates are not yet established but both groups and individuals are encouraged to pick up roadside trash. Trash bags will be furnished by the county (based on previous years) and the garbage may be taken to your local fire department where the county will make arrangements to dispose of it.

A memo from the ABC was reviewed. The county is maxed out on the amount of money that can be received so no further action other than approval of the memo could be taken.

The commission voted unanimously to accept the state approved mileage rate pay and to accept any automatic changes that come with it.

The Sheriff’s department has requested a full time person to handle repairs in the jail. Sheriff Booker requested a full time person. He also said the jail would take care of all paint preparation and painting issues but there were numerous showers, toilets, lights and other household items in dire need of repair.

The commission voted to do a temporary emergency hire to help cover these problems.

The current Fire Association Chief was on hand and informed the commission that the Fire Training Trailer will be available starting 15 April. It will be set up at the old Gerber Plant and everyone is invited out to see the intense training our VOLUNTEER firefighters must go through. Hours of operation will be Monday-Saturday. They will start at 6 AM each morning except for Saturday which will get underway at 8 AM.

Chairman Cook announced the new commissioners have completed the prescribed 50 hours of training required for their positions. He also advised that a midyear budget hearing will occur at 1 PM on 22 April.

The next meeting will be 8 April at 9 AM.

Adjourned at 5:50 PM.

Election news

As I review this article and read the affidavit following it I find myself picking out what I know to be untruths or insinuations/implications that are not factual at all. It seems the truth is a foreign visitor to a lot of people in Conecuh County.

Shame on a liar and bully. Don't like either one.

Federal judge draws majority-black districts in Evergreen, sets May 21 election date /headline

By Brendan Kirby | [email protected] Press-Register

A federal judge has set a May 21 date for Evergreen’s long-delayed municipal election and set new City Council boundaries that create three districts with an overwhelming black majority.U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade issued her order this week after Evergreen elected officials could not agree with a plan that would address constitutional deficiencies in the current City Council map. Under the new boundaries, three of the five council districts will have black majorities.“The citizens of Evergreen have waited many months beyond the statutory date to vote for their city officials,” she wrote. “The parties previously have agreed to prompt a special election on terms consistent with this Order and no further delay is warranted.”John Tanner, an attorney who represented three black residents, said he is pleased by U.S. Granade’s order.“It’s on track,” he said. “There’ll be some continued attention to it. But the big issues are resolved.”James Anderson, an attorney for the city, said some of the council members have expressed disappointment that the judge adopted a political map submitted by the plaintiffs. “That’s something that we’re going to ask the court to reconsider,” he said. He said the town also might ask the judge to push back the election to give the city clerk more time to prepare absentee ballots and take other steps necessary for the election.“That is awful quick,” he said. “We may need some more time.”Evergreen was set to have an election in August using City Council boundaries that elected officials redrew to adjust for population changes. But the U.S. Department of Justice had not approved the plan, sending it back with additional questions. The Voting Rights Act requires Alabama and other jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination to get pre-approval before making any election change.When the city decided to move ahead anyway, the plaintiff sued in August, and a judge put that month’s scheduled election on hold.There were two main issues – the district boundaries and the list of qualified voters. Anderson said the previous administration ordered the voting list to be destroyed. The plaintiffs alleged that the city improperly used utility bills to reconstitute the list. Granade appointed Bert Estes, a former chief clerk of the Montgomery County Probate Court, as a special master to compile a new list. Both sides said they are satisfied with the current voter rolls.The other issue has proven more thorny. While the black population of Evergreen has grown from 53 percent to 62 percent since 2000, the council retains a 3-2 white majority. The plaintiffs alleged that the council was attempting to maintain that majority through racial gerrymandering packed most black voters in Districts 4 and 5, leaving them more than 86 black and reducing the ability of a black candidate to win one of the other three districts.Anderson said the council members had “political” objections to radical shifts in the district boundaries because the members – both black and white -- did not want to lose neighborhoods they were familiar with.“There were efforts made to come up with a new plan, but the council never could come to a consensus,” Anderson said.Anderson said some council members would like the opportunity to submit a different plan that would meet the constitutional requirements.‘The sitting members have the power to do that as long as they stay within the racial boundaries,” he said.But Tanner, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said the city should have the election as soon as possible since the incumbents already have long overstayed their terms. He noted that the map submitted by the plaintiffs and approved by the judge was different than the one they originally proposed and represented an attempt to more closely follow the existing districts.

“We had a wide range of what was acceptable to us,” he said. Tanner added that moving from a majority-white city to a majority-black one “frequently is a source of great tensions.”He pointed to allegations that in the 2008 municipal election, white people intimidated black voters by taking pictures of them as they entered polling places. He said the plaintiffs have asked the Justice Department to send monitors to Evergreen to observe the voting.

Monroeville City Council Actions

Based on a story in the Monroe Journal, written by Mike Qualls, Managing Editor, it appears the city of Monroeville will not renew the licenses for Johnny Johnson, owner/manager of Fresh Produce on Hwy. 21 bypass.

According to the Compliance Officer of Monroeville, Mr. Bob Crawford, and the City Attorney, Chipper Hare, Mr. Johnson's business is in violation of the city's ordinance and is a nuisance.

It seems Mr. Johnson has not renewed his business licenses since the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Mr. Crawford states the city is experiencing problems getting him into complaince with zoning ordinances. He goes on to say, "We've taken him to court to try and get him into compliance with these ordinances, but there are a couple of other steps we want to ask the council to take."

I don't fully follow the meaning of this statement, are they indicating he is in compliance and there is more they wish him to do or are they stating he is not in compliance and must do more to get that way.

Attorney Hare said both he and Mr. Crawford would like for the council to vote not to renew Mr. Johnson's licenses and to schedule a public hearing to provide him an opportunity to be heard. This is a requirement of the city's business license ordinance. Mr. Hare advised the council they must provide Mr. Johnson with at least a 10 day notice of the hearing. It was noted that the hearing could be scheduled prior to the next council meeting on 2 April. Councilperson Thelma McDaniel made a motion to not renew the license and to schedule the public hearing at 4:45 PM on 2 April. This motion was seconded but nowhere did it give the result of a vote that I could find in the paper.

The story did go on to state Councilperson Tom Lomick seconded the motion and asked if the council should give Mr. Johnson any time to comply. Attorney Hare stated he did not believe it to be necessary because Johnson had not purchased licenses for the previous two years.

The City Clerk, Toni McKelvey told the council Johnson had received renewal notices and had not responded to them. The clerk did inform the council there are several businesses in the city that have not purchased their licenses for this fiscal year and seven of those businesses had not purchased a business license in the past seven years. Those businesses were not named,

Editorial opinion (I reserve that right).

How many of you remember the past Circuit Judge election? It's only been a matter of a few months.

Let's think about some names here, in fact, let's just think about one name HARE.

If you will remember Judge Dawn Hare was involved in a mudslinging, let's go for the throat, race against Jack Booker Weaver.

It seems Mr. Johnson was rather vocal about the non-merits of Judge Hare, purchased ads to that effect and campaigned hard against her.

I couldn't help but notice the city attorney in this case has the same last name. That's because he is former Judge Hare's husband.

If the city clerk readily admits there are several businesses that have not yet purchased this years business licenses and there are at least seven businesses that are seven years delinquent in purchasing their licenses, could this be construed as a harassment attempt by the former judge's husband to browbeat an opponent of his wife's election?

Just a little food for thought.

Dalouie's Pizza

On Saturday my wife and I had a delighful experience when we finally fullfilled a threat we'd made on several occassions. We stopped at DaLouie's Pizza's in Repton and had one of those delicious pizza's.

The pizza came with a side treat of a guided tour by the owner himself. Mr. Chester Fawley gave us the fullfledged tour from start to finish.

He told us he'd started out doing the pizza's on what used to be his front porch. One item he showed with pride is the sturdiness of his porch post which are telephone post. Next he put an addition on the left (looking at the building) side of the porch and down the side. He enclosed this and created an indoor delight for the connoisseur of fine Itialian dinning.

He has a couple of tables which, if you'll take the time to dine in and sit, will become fountains of knowledge for the general public.

He described how he continued to use the telephone poles as the main supports, he just dressed them up in cleverly designed wood and plaster work.

If you look close he has a system attached to his front door which will turn on lights throughout the house should someone come in. Mr. Fawley was quiet proud of this 'cause he said he no longer has to sit in the (pizza parlour) and wait.

He told of how he'd done most of the work on the walls and structure with the exception of the door and windows, which he contracted out to a young man who did the work for payment in pizza.

He told us how the cost was held to a minimum and a lot of good folks had given him different items to help him along. He was most proud of an ice machine that had been donated. "Course he said it needed some minor repair but the blessings he'd received along the way made everything special.

His kitchen is a model of efficiency with everything possible utilized for double duty. The oven is a big affair operated by gas. He opened it up to show that the pizza's were cooked on stone. He starts them out on a metal pan, let's them firm up and then finishes them out by sliding the pan from under them and cook their way out directly on those stones. The very size of this oven gives him the ability to offer something no one else in this area can, a 29" pizza.

He discribed how next year he'll have his place modified to use everything produced energy-wise toward helping to heat his house. He uses dropdown plastic sheeting as a heat and cold barrier to protect his customers and tries to afford them all the comfort possible when they come in. His current plans are to modify the windows from his dinner to the house to get maximum benefit from the heat generated by his big pizza oven.

He broke out an old rolling pin and talked of how he'd used that to flatten out his pizza's when he first started. He then showed a machine (again donated by a friend) that now mixes and puts out the dough for his regular pizza's.

His 29" inch pizza is so large the paddle to remove it from the oven looks like a full fledged stop sign.

At the end of the tour Tess and I sat down with Mr. and Ms. Fawley and enjoyed a fresh pizza right out of the oven.

Someday when you're riding through Repton make it a point to turn on Ellis Street and find a place to park. You'll be at a place that will delight your tongue and tickle your taste buds and if you're not careful, you may even learn something.

Thank you and your lovely wife for a great time that Saturday afternoon and expect us back.

James Leon Windham

City Council

Called to order at 6 PM by Mayor Wolff. Mike Lanier gave the invocation. Roll call showed all present with the exception of Maxine Harris.

Flags and a Plaque was discussed during the informal session.

The agenda previous minutes and accounts payable were approved by unanimous vote.

Mayor Wollf announced Alabama Power was sponsoring a customer appreciation dinner on 28 Mar. Mayor and Council are invited.

Mayor Wolff provided the council with a copy of Love's February report.

Under old business:

Superintendent Sullivan gave a report on the bid result for the timber sales on Factory Street and Wild Avenue. Each tract was 10 acres and the bids were roughly $100.00 per acre. Mr. Sullivan suggested rejecting all these bids and do a rebid under a unit price. Approved. Mr. Sullivan also suggested that the city should reconsider selling the Factory Street property and evaluate it at a later date. The council voted to accept his recommendation.

DMD Engineers gave the bid results on the City Park upgrades for the ball fields, parking and other upgrades. Beasley, a Brewton based company came in at low bid at $149,500.00. The council voted to accept the Beasley bid.

Superintendent Sullivan gave an update on progress made about the flooding on US 31/84 in front of the old Food Giant. He has met with several entities including ALADOT, CSX and others. ALADOT has acknowledged it is a flooding problem and is a US Hwy. They intend to do more observation and study and ultimate will do repairs to stop the hazard.

Mr. Bob Carter with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood was unavailable for an update on the sidewalk but Mr. Sullivan briefed the council that things are proceeding as expected.

Travel expense reports were approved for Maxine Harris ($88.80), Becky Robinson ($98.79) and Mayor Wolff ($96.80).

Under Committee reports: Councilman Skinner told the council Ms. Hartley had an old fashion outhouse that she would give to the city. He remarked that he thought it would be appropriate to put at the park near the old house standing there. Superintendent Sullivan will check into moving it.

Councilman Upton advised the council that a May 29 Memorial Day ceremony will take place at the monument site. Congresswoman Martha Roby will be on hand to help in this ceremony which will get underway at 10 AM.

Shop Superintendent Gene Lasley advised the council the city needed to replace the cutter cutters they have on hand. They are moving into the mowing season and what they have now will not last. It was agreed to declare the cutters on hand now as surplus property, list them on gov. deal and get what the city can for them. The council voted to purchase 5 new cutters at a cost of $2,635.00 each.

Mr. Lasley also spoke of doing a slab and roof extension to include a lean-to style building at the shop. He stated that a current shed on the property was near a tree that was going to take it out soon and this shed could be moved under the lean-to and protect the contents of city equipment housed in it. He had a cost list to provide. Evergreen Concrete would pour a slab at a cost of $3,563.88 and Mr. Darwin Covin gave an estimate for the remained of the work at $4,470.00.

Superintendent Sullivan asked permission to advertise for bids on mosquito control. Granted.

City Attorney Hartley advised the council he had the pyrotechnics contract for 4 July fireworks but was not happy with some of the wording in it. Cost to the city, $4,975.00. Council voted to have fireworks on 3 July or rain day of 5 July proved the attorney comes to an agreement on the contract.

A resolution to open a bank account for the Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department was approved.

A resolution to open a bank account to accommodate the proceeds from the occupancy tax earmarked for the Municipal Park.

The council passed a borrowing resolution to cover the extra collateral for the Shrimp Basket.

The Council, by unanimous vote, opted to purchase a plaque to place at the Evergreen-Conecuh Veterans Monument.

A reminder of economic interest statements are due by 30 April 2013 was made.

Meeting adjourned at 6:38 PM

John Skinner, Business Person of the Year Hard working city councilman earned his recognization. Great body shop. Published by Conecuh County News and Views LLC

Congrats to John Skinner, John's Paint and Body.





Well Deserved.

You go John

County Commission mtg. 11 March 2013

The Conecuh County Commission meet at 9 AM on 11 March 2013 with all commissioners in attendance.

The meeting was opened with a word of prayer and the pledge of allegiance.

The agenda and previous minutes were approved by unanimous vote.

Under payroll/personnel report, 10 hours of overtime for the jail. Approved.

Under Claims there were 2 over the limit in the general fund and 4 over the limit for the gasoline fund.

A need for consideration of emergency hire for Government Center Security was introduced. Currently 1 person out and another needs time out for an operation. An additional hire was approved until those out are capable of coming back.

John Crutchfield, representing the Humane Society spoke next. He passed out a proposal to the commissioners that would place the Humane Society under contract to the county and be responsible for the operation of the Conecuh County Animal Shelter. He stated the animal shelter would become a 24 hour operation with people available to go capture animals. The Brewton Humane Society recently gave the Conecuh Humane Society a pickup that they plan to use for capture purposes. By all appearances, the county will be on the hook to pay all operating expenses, modify and maintain the building and pay salaries.

Johnny Brock, County EMA Director reported he had spent the previous week in Washington D. C. where he met with several Congressional Reps. and/or their staffs. Mr. Brock reported that is appears for EMA;s will continue to be available but will probably suffer a 5% cut.

County Engineer Winston Foshee reported that round 3 of ATRIP resurfacing projects is about to become available. He is preparing to put in for an additional 67 1/2 miles of paving. Round 2 is already approved. Round 2 includes paving of Hwy. 5 from Hwy. 84 to Burnt Corn, paving of Hwy. 20 and Hwy. 29 from Hwy. 83 to Sepulga River. To move forward with round 3 required the commission to pass a resolution. Mr. Foshee already had the resolutions prepared and they passed by unanimous vote.

Mr. Foshee also stated our dump trucks must be turned in by Tuesday 19 March. We have 3 of the new ones in now and the county will have to operate with them until others get on hand.

Judy Covan, County Administrator was unavailable. Ms. Covan had a family emergency she was required to handle. Prayers go out to her on the loss of her mother.

Chairman Cook reported that Commissioners McCreary and Millender had been in Washington D. C. for a meeting of County Commissioner from around the U. S. Both Mr. McCreary and Mr. Millender reported that the trip was very much worthwhile.

Chairman Cook reported that ALATOM had met in Castleberry at the Dev. Rec. Center for a luncheon. Afterwards they enjoyed a tour of the oil fields.

Meeting adjourned at 9:40 A.M.