Jacksons Gap Mayor Jeff Walker was at a loss for words at Tuesday’s council meeting after hearing of the resignation of the town’s police chief.
“I’m giving my two week notice,” police chief B.C. Cooper said. “I’m resigning as police chief.”
Cooper didn’t offer a reason but Walker said he will be missed.
Cooper’s announcement comes on the heels of the death of councilmember Carl Pritchard in August. The council is in the process of selecting Pritchard’s replacement. Councilmember Heather Glenn previously announced she will be leaving soon and moving out of state with her family. Walker said the small town will make it through the tough time.
“We lost Mr. Pritchard just a short time ago,” Walker said. “I just heard chief (Cooper) is leaving. Heather (Glenn) will be having her last meeting soon; I just appreciate everyone’s service.”
The council interviewed five potential replacements for Pritchard at Tuesday’s meeting: Patricia Berry, Diane Hall, Guy Brewer, Frank Lewis and Patricia Crayton. All said they wanted to keep the small-town feel of Jacksons Gap while trying to clean it up and bring in some businesses for revenue.
Berry has been living in Jacksons Gap for 10 years.
“I just love it,” Berry said. “I want to see it prosper. I want to beautify it.”
Hall is serving as secretary of the Jacksons Gap Volunteer Fire Department.
“I want to try to bring something for the kids,” Hall said. “I want to make us great again.”
Brewer retired to the area after 35 years with the U.S. Postal Service where he worked in 11 different offices across three states. Now he is ready to plant some roots.
“I like small communities,” Brewer said. “I like them clean and well maintained.”
Lucas has lived in Jacksons Gap for 21 years and was in public service for 35 years through the Alexander City Police Department, the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department and as the Tallapoosa County Circuit Clerk.
“I just like to do whatever I can,” Lucas said. “There are a lot of things that can be done depending on funding.”
Crayton is a lifelong resident of Jacksons Gap and has been retired for 20 years.
“I’m willing to learn and grow,” Crayton said.
The council will vote on Pritchard’s replacement Sept. 24. Glenn’s position will be declared vacant by the council at a future meeting and her replacement will follow the same procedure as Pritchard’s position with interviews and selection by the council.
The council asked town attorney Chad Harrison to research if the chip mill should be paying sales tax.
“There are seven in the state,” Harrison said. “None pay sales taxes. They pay ad valorem taxes and business license fees.”
Harrison explained the reason is wood chips is not an end product for the company.
Harrsion also prepared new ordinances for the impoundment of vehicles and drugs and for citations for possession of drug paraphernalia. The council will vote on the ordinances at a future meeting.
Glenn passed along the idea of outsourcing the town’s website. She currently maintains it and with her move found a company used by other municipalities that can handle it. The town currently pays $150 a month service and $357 a year for domain name and space. The company, IT in a Box, will charge about $258 more per month more but will take care of immediate updates and eliminate the other costs. Walker took the information and the council will discuss it later.
Glenn also reported 82 children received school supplies in the town’s school drive with most coming from the area and attending Dadeville schools. She also said councilmember Jeanette Tuck would take on the supply drive.
“Each year it has grown,” Glenn said. “This was my last year. I’m handing it over to Ms. Tuck. A lot of families have expressed their thanks this year for the school supplies.”
The Jacksons Gap Town Council also approved payment of bills.
The next meeting of the Jacksons Gap Town Council is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.