Council again discusses issue of cameras in city hall
by Rachel Davis
Jun 18, 2014 | 1441 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OAKMAN — The Oakman Town Council once again discussed the issue of cameras in city hall.

The council had previously voted to get the cameras reconnected in city hall and put the monitor and recording device in a secure location that only Mayor Dennis Welch can access. The system was purchased partly by the city and partly by the court system, and the court opposed the system’s use being restricted only to the city’s mayor.

Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harvey said he had spoken to a lawyer at the Alabama League of Municipalities who said that if the city took possession of the system, it could be a misappropriation of court funds.

Welch said the city was not interested in taking possession of the system, but, in order to follow the motion passed by the council, he would have to secure the monitor and recording device.

City Clerk Deanna Woods and Magistrate Joseph Thomas have previously complained that things were moved, missing or appearing in their offices.

Woods said she wouldn’t mind the camera system if it was turned on during the night, when employees aren’t there.

Among items to allegedly strangely appear and disappear in the clerk’s office were time and payroll records that had been subpoenaed for a federal lawsuit related to a previous administration.

In other business:

•Welch said the city’s proposed storm shelter is being held up by the reluctance of the landowner to sell the property. If the property isn’t acquired by the city, or an alternate location is not approved, the city will not receive a shelter.

•The council agreed to begin getting the police department’s report quarterly, like it receives the fire department report. Council members will still receive a monthly court report.

•The council heard from Jerry and Janiec Wyers, who had been complaining about the lack of drainage and issues with the roads near their house.

The city worked on the area to improve drainage but said they still don’t have the money to repair local roads.

•The council approved sending Police Chief Chad Gurganus to a police chief’s conference.