Demopolis council taps Riley Wells for hospital board seat

Demopolis’ City Council appointed Riley Wells to the hospital board Tuesday evening, opting not to select from a slate of names submitted previously by the hospital board.

Mayor Mike Grayson told the council that he met earlier in the day with hospital CEO/Administrator Art Evans, and assured him that the council “is not trying to draw a line in the sand” by not choosing a hospital board nominee. The hospital board recently sent a letter indicating that the council is legally bound to choose from the hospital board’s list of names.

Grayson said the meeting with Evans was conciliatory in tone. The two entities have sparred in the recent past over hospital board appointments.

Council member Bill Meador, who originally nominated Wells, repeated the nomination again Tuesday. He, along with Grayson and Harris Nelson, voted for Wells, while council members Charles Jones Jr. and Nathan Hardy voted no.

Following the vote, Grayson said, “My understanding is that the hospital board can still come back and question this (appointment).”

Meador responded, “They can do whatever they want.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council accepted the city’s 2013-2014 Financial Audit, as presented by CPA Richard LeCroy. “Financially, you had a good year last year,” LeCroy reported. He also recommended that various internal control procedures be put into place.

In other matters, the council:

  • Held a discussion on establishing a limit on the number of times a charitable organization can use the Civic Center in a year. The matter was tabled until next meeting.
  • Heard City Attorney Bill Poole report that he plans to speak with a potential buyer for the property at 609 W. Pettus, which is the site of a burned structure. If not purchased, the city will need to conduct asbestos testing before demolition. Poole also informed the council that he is preparing resolutions for the demolition of four other properties.
  • Re-appointed Annye Braxton, Sarah Hallmark and Brian Brooker to the Historic Preservation Commission.
  • Accepted a $3,200 bid from Collins Communications to provide an enhanced security and access system for the Civic Center. The Mayor said the current system is not effective. Charles Jones voted against the measure.
  • Approved an off-premises beer license for the Sonoco station on U.S. 80 West.
  • Heard Grayson report that the Herbert Street repair  project appears to be more extensive than originally thought, and that he has been appointed to the executive committee of the Alabama League of Municipalities.