Archived Story

Harrelson: ‘You should be ashamed’

Published 11:28am Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Dadeville City Council meeting ended Thursday with the resignation of City Clerk Sharon Harrelson.

Harrelson said she could no longer deal with Mayor Joe Smith and addressed him during her comments.

“You do not have any business up here, incompetent as you are, running this city,” Harrelson said. “I have done your job since you set foot in that office, and you know it.”

Harrelson apologized to the council for leaving.

“All this drama – we could have our own reality show, and I guarantee you it would be better than Honey Boo Boo,” Harrelson continued. “Like I told (Smith), this is not a b******g session. This is to handle business for the city.”

Harrelson said it seems like Smith is trying to run the other council members and the city attorney out of town.

“You don’t get your way, and you start throwing your little fits,” Harrelson said. “Every campaign promise you made, they all failed, so you’re still trying to dig up – excuse me – s**t. You’re just digging, digging, every day.

“You should be ashamed of yourself for bringing all of this drama into this city.”

Harrelson’s resignation is effective Jan. 25.

Other council business included voting to allow city employees living outside the city limits to continue using city vehicles after weeks of discussing and tabling the issue.

Although Mayor Joe Smith argued the it costs the city too much money to allow employees living outside the city, like investigator Chris Martin, to drive their vehicles back and forth, council members expressed concern at the potential liability and risk of employees not having city vehicles if called after hours.

“We need to have our police and city workers prepared at all times,” said Councilman Frank Goodman. “If one person can be helped … that is what God meant for all of us to do – help one another.”

Martin also shared about a recent incident when he was called after hours to a wreck and had to drive past it to go to the police station and get his car and drive back.

The council voted unanimously to allow employees to retain the use of their vehicles.

The council also discussed the logistics of hiring a city mechanic part time versus full time or whether the city needed to hire a mechanic at all. Currently the city pays a prisoner to do the mechanic job.

Although the position was initially posted as full time, Smith recommended hiring Julius Wolfe part time.

“He worked for the city for 12 years,” Smith said. “He’s honest, and he can fix nearly anything except these new cars.”

Goodman had initially requested the position be posted full time. Several councilmen said they couldn’t hire someone part time after posting it full time.

“I don’t think we ought to hire anybody if the street department hasn’t talked to them and we haven’t interviewed them,” said Councilman Mickey Tarpley.

Councilman Billy Monroe also expressed concerns with Wolfe’s abilities.

“What is he going to do while he doesn’t have any work to do at that shop?” Monroe said. “I worked with him too – I know what he did. He sat down there all the time and drank coffee. That’s not going to work … If you’re going to hire somebody like that, if he isn’t working at that shop, he needs to be out there with the street department working a shovel. If he’s 70 years old, he can’t handle it. I’m just telling you – a 70-year-old man can’t get out there and work with a shovel.”

Police Chief David Barbour expressed his concern with continuing to pay a prisoner to do the job.

“I have a problem with prisoners working on police vehicles,” Barbour said. “I have seen in the past, over the years, where a vehicle gets sabotaged or nuts are left loose on the wheels, oil filters left loose – as a chief, I totally oppose any prisoner working on our vehicles.”

The council voted unanimously to repost the opening for a mechanic as a part-time job.

The council also:

– decided not to allow a citizen to put up a temporary structure to cover his boat on city property

– heard from Fire Chief Kenneth Thompson that Roy Mathis is retiring at the end of February and agreed to post the job for 10 days

– discussed whether to allow the fire department to hire an additional full-time employee at the fire department

– voted to send one of the fire trucks to Decatur for necessary repair, pending more information from Chief Thompson

– voted to hire Abbigale Mangarelli as the new Dadeville Public Library director at $23,000 annually

– discussed a vacancy on the water board and tabled the appointment of Richard White to give people more opportunity to express interest in the position

– voted to change meetings back to the second and fourth Tuesdays instead of first and third to resolve issues with paying bills, effective in February

– heard concerns and discussed the city laws regarding discharging a firearm within the city limits

The next council meeting will be Jan. 15.

The audio transcript of Harrelson’s rant will be available Monday at www.alexcityoutlook.com.

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