Archived Story

City personnel move called into question

Published 9:00pm Monday, July 7, 2014

While Monday’s city council meeting started off on a lighthearted note with the recognition of the achievements of a local softball team, the meeting assumed a different tone when councilmember Tony Goss took the floor.

“I have discovered that during the process to hire our human resources director, several policies of our employee handbook were grossly violated,” Goss said.

Goss asked that the appointment of the HR director be withdrawn until further notice.

“The threats of political suicide will not affect how I do my day-to-day job (as a councilmember), nor will the threat that Tony Goss is too aggressive and needs his wings clipped.”

Councilmember Sherry Ellison-Simpson stressed the importance of following the manual, less the council descend on a slippery slope.

“If we start violating one procedure, it leads to violating several more and then there is no need to even have a policy and procedure manual,” Ellison-Simpson said. “From what I am hearing from Mr. Goss, the main issue that was violated is these applications did not go through the personnel department.”

Council president James Spann said that it does appear there had been a violation.

“It appears because that it did not go through the personnel manager, that is a violation of the policy,” Spann said. “It is my recommendation that the council not make an appointment, and we defer it until we have a work session.”

Mayor Charles Shaw addressed Goss during his comments following the meeting.

“Tony I do think you are tooting your own horn and grandstanding, and I don’t think you have done the research to support what you wrote,” Shaw said.

The item wasn’t the only item that the council decided to defer action for further discussion. An ordinance regarding extending the lease with the Alexander City Archery Club, an ordinance aimed at raising the city’s sales tax and an ordinance to establish a weed abatement program were all tabled to be discussed during a work session Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the city hall conference room.

In other business the council:

• Approved a resolution to authorize the mayor to dispose of 50 or more unneeded wooden utility poles.

• Approved a resolution to authorize the mayor to dispose of an unneeded Jeep Liberty, which will be donated to the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task force.

• Approved a resolution to authorize the mayor to execute an agreement for Tallapoosa County and Alexander City to share GIS data.

• Approved a resolution to authorize the mayor to execute an agreement with Foresite to inspect the football stadium at the Sportplex for an amount not to exceed $2,700.

• Approved a bid for ornamental fencing at the city cemetery to A+ Quality fencing for an amount not to exceed $18,600.

• Approved a bid from Alex City Grading to replace the culvert on Trussell Road for an amount not to exceed $114,626.56.

• Approved giving $1,000 to the girls 10U softball team to assist in their travels to the regional tournament in North Carolina.

• Approved a National Night Out event planned for August 5 at the Sportplex.

• Approved a firework show at the Sportplex during a tournament this weekend.