Demopolis council, hospital board compromise on appointment impasse

Demopolis’ city council accepted a mine-for-yours compromise from the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority Board of Directors at Thursday night’s council meeting, which will allow each entity to fill one of two vacant hospital board seats.

After an executive session to discuss good name and character, Mayor Mike Grayson told the council and the public in attendance, “It has been the practice of this council to pick its members for the hospital board. We were presented a document (from the hospital board) that said we could only choose from a list they gave us.”

The Mayor went on to explain that the hospital board sent another document that proposed a compromise. Under that proposal, the city council would select one of the four names submitted by the hospital board, and the hospital board in turn would choose one of the city’s candidates.

The city council voted 5-0, with Grayson abstaining, to accept the compromise, then chose Allen Bishop for the hospital board. The hospital board will now choose one name from the city council’s slate – Alex Braswell, Mary Jo Martin, Thomas Moore and Joyce Weiss.

With his appointment to the hospital board, Bishop will relinquish his seat on the board of adjustments, and Lucinda Mason will move up from alternate.

The board nominated Wanda Dunklin and Garry Malone for a position on the parks and recreation board.

In other action, the council pulled $500,000 from reserves to provide a 10 percent cushion to the Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget, which it passed at the meeting.

Grayson and council member Bill Meador hastened to point out that the half-million dollars would not necessarily be spent, but was included to meet the 10 percent cushion required for municipal budgets.

With the addition of the $500,000, revenues are projected at $9,601,600 with expenses at $8,608,340, leaving a surplus of $993,260.

City attorney Bill Poole presented a sample garbage contract for the council’s review. The city’s current contract with Advance Disposal expires Dec. 31.

Also, the mayor reported that August tax revenues were 4.19 percent over the same month last year, and are up 4.39 percent year-to-date. He termed the trend “encouraging.”

Diane Brooker appeared before the council requesting approval for both the Renew Our River and Renew Our City clean-up/beautification events. Her requests were approved. She also took the opportunity to ask the council to enforce its ordinance that addresses properties that are overgrown by weeds and grass.

Grayson said the city looking in the near future at “putting more teeth” into the ordinance, but Brooker suggested the existing ordinance is sufficient, if enforced consistently.