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By Staff
Council made wrong decision
Editor,
I have to admit that I was against the city managers position when it was first brought up. After all, I voted for a mayor to run the city, not a manager.
Then I got upset when Mr. Vest was appointed, for he was one outstanding police chief and I wanted him to stay there.
Mr. Vest did a great job as city manager and made me change my resistance for the position. Now he has been let go.
Why? In the interest to save money, says one vocal councilman.
Why? Because he got a 17-inch computer monitor says another.
Come on now! But not because he did a bad job-I haven't heard anyone say that yet.
I am left to wonder where was the planning for this position? Could the council members now opposed to the position not see that the position would cost money?
Does the term "duuuh!" not fit in here?
It was wrong to make a decision for termination for his position without hearing from the citizens first. It was wrong for Mr. Abercrombie to vote on the issue. It was even more wrong for Mr. Abercrombie not to answer a question from a citizen during the council meeting, referring the question to his attorney.
What is this? The only time one lets their attorney answer for them is when they are awaiting trial on a criminal or civil matter, not, and I mean not when serving the public.
Mr. Abercrombie is known to me as one of the finest men in this city, highly respected with a magnificent reputation, but he is now serving the public.
This is no place to have your attorney answer a question posed to you from a citizen, not a customer, but a citizen that you are now serving. In short, serving the public is a thankless job, but I doubt that the way Mr. Vest was treated and the way the citizens were left out will get any thanks at all. So I close in asking did anyone show or prove that Mr. Vest did anything other, as he did as chief of police, than an outstanding job? Mr. Vest, run for mayor-my yard awaits your signs! Job well-done sir! And, thank you.
Randy Cavnar
Hartselle
Council made right decision
Editor,
I would like to express my personal thanks to the three councilmen that finally stood up and showed they had some spinal fluid in their backbone at the last council meeting. To the remaining whiny two councilmen that opposed, "Would you like some cheese to go with that whine?"
I would also like to send my personal condolences to (Buzz) Howell, (George) Adair, (Cynthia) McMillian, and others. For once, you did not get what you wanted. Now that the shoe is on your foot, it doesn't wear too good, does it? By the way, Mr Howell, why did you even speak? How many managers have you fired in the past 10 years, only to have to pay them their full pay? I will give (Tom) Chappell and (Don) Hall a small amount of credit for trying to delegate with overwhelming support from the audience.
Ferrell Vest knew exactly what the conditions of the contract were when he signed it. He was involved in the drafting of the contract. Why is it that other people not involved cannot comprehend the specifics of the contract. Hats off to Larry Madison for setting some people straight on several issues also.
Now that we are in the process of saving some money, maybe the council can apply the remainder of the ousted city administrator's salary toward some fire equipment and other much needed things. There are two very important issues concerning Hartselle residents: needs versus wants. We need adequate fire equipment and personnel. A few people want a soccer field. Which is more important? Safety or soccer? I believe that's a "no brainer." The money for the stupid soccer field will almost pay for a ladder truck.
Now, to respond to the person that wrote about me last week, but claimed it wasn't necessary to mention my name. First, you said that you married and moved your family back to Hartselle. Who, exactly, wears the pants in your household? Secondly, when you say that I am not changing "anyone's" mind, I will ask this. When did you become God, you know, "all knowing." From the phone calls that I get, there is a totally different consensus. Maybe you need to dust off that crystal ball that's been deceiving you. Most of the people that call have lived here far longer than you and I combined.
I will tell you exactly why I am still residing in Hartselle. I live across the street from two of the finest people that I have ever known. I take these wonderful people and their quality of life seriously. My love and respect for them will not let me leave. I am here to watch after them and to offer any assistance that I can give.
Another reason, I just love to annoy people just like you. I not only enjoy criticism, I live for it. For every reason you can say Hartselle and its government is great, I can offer you the factual opposite. Oh yeah, where is the "charm" of Hartselle? It must have disappeared when all the "back scratching" started.
Mike Dowdy
Hartselle
Appointment wasn't handled correctly
Editor:
I am exceedingly surprised and disappointed in the recent actions of Mayor Clif Knight and Councilmen Dick Carter, Frank Jones and newly appointed Alvin Abercrombie. There has to have been/be some ulterior motives behind the recent series of events. First the sudden gangland style, ethically questionable council appointment of Mr. Abercrombie. Although his credentials are unquestioned, why suddenly force Mr. Abercrombie into the vacant council seat?
A partial probable answer appeared in the regular public council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 – to provide a majority vote for the removal of the City Administrative Manager, Mr. Vest, while allowing the Mayor to abstain from voting. There is no other reason for Mr. Abercrombie to have voted at all. By all ethical standards, sitting in his first council meeting and not being familiar with the status, purpose or positive/negative effect of matters and events, he would have abstained. This has all the appearances of a "put up deal"!
But then, why remove Mr. Vest? By all reports he was doing an excellent job. I was surprised to hear Mr. Vest was being paid an annual salary of $60,000 plus an automobile allowance. When he was hired for the position, about three years ago, it was my understanding the annual salary was to be $35,000 with the use of a city vehicle. This represents an overall increase of a whopping 86 percent. Something in this picture is not right. Also, there were some allegations made, during the Aug. 12, 2003 Council Meeting, that there are some members of the City Council (those members being the Mayor and the newly appointed Councilman Abercrombie) who want to eliminate some current members of the Hartselle School Board to allow their respective son-in law and son, who sit on the current board, to have more control of the board. This sounds a bit sinister and underhanded. What is going on in the city council? The city of Hartselle has many significantly important matters which require the unified efforts of us all. Derision among our leaders is definitely not what is needed. I am totally appalled, surprised and exceedingly disappointed in the recent events of the Council and cannot condone nor uphold such inexcusable politics/policies. We, the citizens of Hartselle, deserve some honest explanations – pronto!
James L. Nix
Hartselle

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