Talk of school property dominates meeting
by RACHEL DAVIS
Aug 22, 2012 | 1529 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SUMITON — Sumiton’s City Council meeting focused on the land for the proposed new Sumiton Elementary School. The council and Walker County Board of Education Superintendent Jason Adkins discussed the need for a quit-claim deed for a portion of the property adjoining the properties already owned by the BOE. At the Aug. 7 meeting, the council and mayor vowed to do whatever it took to keep the school plans moving.

On Aug. 17, Mayor Petey Ellis signed a quit-claim deed for the property and the council voted to ratify the deed at Tuesday’s meeting. The lone dissenting vote was cast by council member Ricky Thomas, who said he opposed the way the measure was handled.

“I just think it needs to be handled the right way,” Thomas said. He said that the council should have approved the measure prior to the mayor’s signature on the deed.

Ellis responded that Thomas should have made a motion to approve the land transfer at the previous council meeting.

The tense moment between the two ended in a motion to suspend the rules of order and vote on approving the deed and then to approve the deed. Council members Brian Sides, Kenneth Russell, Bill Fowler and Valerie Tucker voted in favor of both, while Thomas voted against both.

In other business:

•The council voted to compensate absentee ballot manager Judy Glover at a rate of $50 a day. During the previous election the compensation was set at $75 per day for most area municipalities, but Glover informed the council that this year the rate for most other areas was $50.

•The council voted to annex the Bethel Road property owned by Nathan and Beth Weathers that was discussed at the previous meeting.

•The council heard from Johnnie Crowell, who heads up the local shelter for Save Our Strays. Crowell informed the council that the shelter and thrift store are now open at 1386 Main Street in Sumiton. They already have more than 20 cats and 12 dogs.

Crowell also asked the council for money, saying they have fallen behind on shots and spaying and neutering because the grant check they normally receive has not come in yet.

She asked the council for $400 from the city, as well as personal donations.

The council approved a $400 donation to assist the shelter and Ellis pledged a personal donation.