Archived Story

City delays fixing mechanic problem

Published 11:31am Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hiring a mechanic was again the topic of debate at Dadeville’s city council meeting Tuesday.

Mayor Joe Smith once again recommended Julius Wolfe – the person he has been recommending for the job since January.

“We didn’t have any trouble with him, and he saved us a lot of money,” Smith said.

Other council members have been less enthusiastic about Wolfe’s performance. At a previous meeting, councilman Billy Monroe 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.”

The council has also debated whether to hire a mechanic full time or part time, and whether or not Wolfe could work full time, since he retired from the city.

At Tuesday’s meeting Monroe recommended Chapman Yarbrough.

“He’s got a 12th grade education, and he wants a part-time job. Plus he’s got some college under his belt,” Monroe said. “He can run a tractor. He’s working at StillWaters now.”

Smith spoke up against the suggestion that the mechanic be required to have a 12th grade education or GED, saying a number of current employees do not meet those specifications.

“I think the mayor’s got a little something to do with who to hire for the street department,” Smith said. “I’m supposed to be over that.”

City attorney Robin Reynolds said he would look into whether the city’s personnel policy on requiring a high school diploma or GED applies to part-time employees and report back to the council as soon as possible, but he cautioned the council to remember the chain of command regarding the mechanic position.

“Under the law, the mayor runs the street department, and he manages the city,” Reynolds said. “He does have the authority to make hires for the city of Dadeville.”

The hiring was once again put on hold.

After a number of letters and calls from citizens expressing frustration over the state of the house at the intersection of Broadnax and Columbus streets, an update was provided at Tuesday’s meeting.

“The couple has been arrested for violation of an abatement order,” said Police Chief David Barbour. “The court date is set for May 7.”

Reynolds said the couple has been busy cleaning up the property on Broadnax Street ever since.

The council also:

- approved a proclamation recognizing April 27 as Rural Health Day

- voted to give $500 to Phillip Baker for the basketball court to be used by DES and the community

- gave Robin Reynolds the authority to begin seeking bids, at the appropriate time, for the work that needs to be done on the McKelvey building

- voted to participate in the back-to-school sales tax holiday

- discussed the dog ordinance, of which Reynolds provided a rough draft

- voted to offer the bushhog operator position to John Clark of Camp Hill

- discussed problems with the weather siren and bills for maintenance work done and agreed that more discussion needed to take place between the city and the EMA