Archived Story

Council appoints Thompson chief

Published 2:30pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Dadeville City Council appointed Kenny Thompson to the position of fire chief at its meeting Tuesday.

The council had previously tabled the appointment of the fire chief at its Nov. 13 regular meeting – a move that was made after citizens expressed outrage that the majority of the council members were not choosing to appoint Thompson.

“I think he’s one of the best, and we’ve got the best fire department in the state of Alabama,” said Mayor Joe Smith. “I’d like to see him stay on. You’ve got a good man, you better keep him.”

Others at the meeting also spoke out on Thompson’s behalf.

“We’ve got one of the best fire chiefs we’ve ever had in Dadeville, Ala.,” said Lamar Hartley, who attended the meeting as a visitor on the agenda. “I dedicated 25 years of fighting fires, myself, to this city under Chief Thompson. We’ve got a good fire department. We have some folks in that fire department – I don’t call them firemen, they’re backbiters – running to the former mayor and councilmen wanting to get him fired, simply because he wouldn’t let them do like they wanted to.”

One of the council’s concerns about Thompson was his failure to attend council meetings – a requirement for department heads, to give reports to the council. Smith assured the council that Thompson would be attending from now on.

The council voted unanimously to appoint Thompson to the chief position.

Another visitor on the agenda was Roger Hepburn, who spoke to the council on a variety of topics, including commending a school traffic director, implementing more programs for the youth of Dadeville, the need for more transparency in city government, necessary updates to the city website, salaries for city employees, repairs needed for drainage ditches and citizens concerns with water rates.

“A lot of people can’t afford it,” Hepburn said. “These people deserve better … I’m not saying give them rates like (Smith) used to do, but if they’re 70 years old, or 65 and they make $7,000 a year, they deserve a break.”

Hepburn urged the council to take care of the elderly and the youth – particularly the youth.

“It’s time that we relook at certain things,” Hepburn said. “Dadeville is a dying city, and if we don’t start doing some right things, it’ll be nothing but old goats out here, like me.”

The council also:

– finalized a new meeting date and outlined the order of procedure for meetings with the passing of Ordinance 482

– agreed on a garbage refund, in the form of 20 months of service free, for Phyllis Sinclair, who said she had not had a garbage can for three years

– agreed to pay new police Chief David Barbour the same salary as former chief Steve Freeman

– met in executive session to discuss two separate instances of litigation, as brought up by city attorney Robin Reynolds

The next council meeting will be Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. at Dadeville City Hall.