Sudduth assumes Council presidency
by David Lazenby
Nov 01, 2011 | 1681 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When the Jasper City Council concludes today’s regularly scheduled meeting, a different official will bang the gavel to officially adjourn the Council meeting.

Councilor Johnny Rollins, who has been Council president for the last year, is passing the torch to District 5 Councilor Sandi Sudduth.

Sudduth said this will be her second time performing the duties of president.

“We rotate,” Sudduth said about the annual changing of the guard.

Along with the new duties, the change requires that the city officials change their seats.

The Jasper Council President sits in the center seat at the rostrum in the Council Chambers at Jasper City Hall.

Sudduth said no formal ceremony is being held today to mark the change.

“It’s just my turn. Nothing new,” Sudduth said. “Just a different person beating the gavel.”

Rollins said he is certain Sudduth will be professional in her performance of the Council president’s duties, which include setting the agenda and presiding over the Council meetings.

“Sandi will do a great job,” he said.

Sudduth, who works at the Jasper campus of Bevill State Community College as a career coach for the Second Opportunity program, which serves at-risk youth in Walker County, said she plans to keep the meetings focused on the business at hand.

“Because of the time constraints that we have when we have a Council meeting during the day, I will try to move the meeting along a little faster than normal, which means some of the camaraderie might be cut back,” Sudduth said.

In 2000, the Council decided it would rotate the presidency, with each councilor serving one year of each four-year term.

District Four Councilor Lee Swann agreed to serve as the permanent Council president pro tem in lieu of being in the presidency rotation.

Rollins said he does not know of another city in Alabama in which the Council is not elected at large that uses an annual rotation to determine who serves as its Council president.

“Lee Swann was pretty much the one who thought of this first,” Rollins said about the officials’ decision to rotate the presidential position.

“It’s run well,” Rollins said. “It’s a good system.”

Rollins said the Council also “did away” with the additional salary that the president received. Formerly, the Council president got $200 more per month than the other councilors and an additional $200 for expenses.

“Everybody’s paid the same,” Rollins said.

Also at today’s Council meeting, city officials are expected to take the following actions:

•Consider approval of operating budget for an additional 30 days;

•Recognize Mayor Sonny Posey concerning naming of new Industrial Park access road;

•Consider a request for a parade permit for the Hope Clinic Bicycle Ride on Nov. 12;

•Consider appointments to the Jasper Zoning Board of Adjustment;

•Conduct a public hearing and consider approval of a Retail Beer and Wine for Off Premise Consumption License for Dolgencorp, LLC d/b/a Dollar General, located at 1981 North Airport Road, 171 Highway 5, 1902 7th Avenue West and 573 Highway 78 West;

•Consider a request to authorize lease of copier for Municipal Court on current contract with OCE;

•Consider a previously introduced request for funding ($11,247.26) for repair of a Tiger mower by Huntsville Tractor; and

•Consider adoption of an ordinance to amend the ordinance prohibiting smoking in public places within the city limits.