Tommy Spraggins

When Jim Nabors died, Tommy Spraggins, left, ascended to mayor leaving a vacancy on the Alexander City City Council for the District 5 seat.

In a night that will mark a monumental change in titles if not the approach of governing, the Alexander City City Council will meet Monday for the first time since the death of Jim Nabors, witness the ceremonial swearing-in of Mayor Tommy Spraggins and appoint a new member to the city’s school board.

Spraggins automatically assumed the mayorship upon the death of Nabors early Monday morning. The former council president said he will not sit in Nabors’ chair, which will be decorated with a white ribbon. The council will also observe a moment of silence in tribute to Nabors.

“I had never attended a council meeting until I got this job and the only mayor I have seen in that chair is Jim Nabors,” Alexander City Community Development director Al Jones said. “When I go in there Monday night, all I will see is a ribbon. It’s going to be difficult and hard to adjust to.”

However, Jones said he has faith in Spraggins’ ability to carry the mantle of leadership without wavering.

“I am confident Tommy is going to do a great job,” Jones said. “I think the city is very fortunate to have somebody as qualified as Tommy as second in line to step up. He’s very capable.”

Tim Funderburk will take over as council president and conduct the meeting as Spraggins has since taking office along with Nabors in 2016.

The council is also scheduled to formally declare Spraggins’ District 5 seat vacant so it can start the process of finding a new councilmember. City clerk Amanda Thomas will accept letters of intent and resumes from residents of District 5 from May 14-24, the council will conduct interviews on May 30 and appoint the new councilmember at its June 3 meeting, according to a resolution expected to be approved at Monday’s meeting. 

The council will choose among Michael Lovett, Kevin Speaks and Tametria Heard to succeed David Sturdivant on the Alexander City Schools Board of Education. Lovett is the student support services specialist at Central Alabama Community College, Speaks is the assistant vice president of Valley Bank and Heard is the research core and health services liaison at Tuskegee University.

Also on the agenda the council will:

• Consider a resolution to award a bid to Triple J Construction of Phenix City for streetscape and sidewalk improvements in the Hamp Lyon Stadium area adjacent and parallel to Alabama, State, Tallapoosa and Bibb streets not to exceed $413,568 and authorize Spraggins to sign an agreement for construction engineering and inspection with EEFS Company of Bessemer for the project. The engineering agreement will not exceed $55,980 and the city’s match on the project will not exceed $76,000. The city was awarded TAP grant money from the Alabama Department of Transportation in 2017 for the project.

• Consider a resolution to award Gulf Coast Underground of Mobile a bid for the city’s annual sewer cleaning project not to exceed $69,500.

• Consider resolutions to authorize signatures for city-owned accounts, approve the 2018-19 organizational chart, amend the fiscal year 2019 personnel authorization list and operating budget for the public works department, and amend the fiscal year 2019 operating budget for the mayor’s office.

Nabors did not take the annual $60,000 salary and the resolution would approve paying Spraggins up to $31,000 for the remainder of the year.

Nabors had also begun restructuring those who reported directly to the mayor from 24 to a goal of nine to improve efficiency.

• Consider requests to approve the Celebrate Freedom event for the Marshall Street Church (July 3), SunFest (June 5-16) and a recruiting event for the Cub Scouts (May 19).

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the courthouse in downtown Alexander City. The council will meet again on May 20.