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Staffing among council topics

There may soon be a new executive assistant working for Mayor Earl Johnson, both in his capacity as Mayor and as the superintendent of the Utility Board of Andalusia. At the Tuesday night meeting of the Andalusia City Council, the council approved unanimously an amendment to the employee strength plan that would allow the addition of an executive assistant to the Mayor.

"Frankly, we've got one secretary for the entire city as far as the secretarial work is concerned and she is fairly swamped," said Johnson at the workshop before the official council meeting.

Johnson told the council that the new

person would also assist City Clerk Pam Steele as well as Deborah Spivey with other job duties, including personnel. At the meeting, councilman Mike Jones reminded the others that the city lost three employees on the administrative level and they have not been replaced. He said that the duties had been redistributed among existing workers.

"We've got to have the staff to do the work and right now, we don't have the staff," said Johnson.

The new position would be for a non-exempt, pay grade ten employee, with half of the salary paid by the city and half by the utility board.

The mayor also discussed the capital improvement program currently underway, saying the current East Three Notch project and the Dunson Street project should be complete by the end of the month. The council gave the Mayor the authority to execute an agreement with ALDOT for the Church Street sidewalk repair project TE02, identical to the project now being completed on East Three Notch.

Dwight Mikel, head of the Department of Leisure Services, was on hand to discuss the new

Adult Activity Center addition which is now in use and Steele told the council that the ADECA report or audit of the project as very favorable.

"They said we had done an excellent job maintaining the standards of the program," she said.

The audit determined how well the city followed codes and rules required by the grant as far as community involvement, civil rights, environment and financial matters.

The new addition is currently obscured from easy access and vision by the old Church Street School cafeteria and gym, according to Johnson, who requested permission to have

one building demolished and

the other dismantled

"We're building poor in the sense that we've got more buildings to take care of than we can take care of," said Johnson in the workshop. He recommended, and the council approved, a plan that would allow for the city to demolish the old cafeteria, and take the old metal gym down to be stored away for future warehouse use. Both Johnson and Mikel stated that the removal of the buildings would increase visibility and access to the new addition, which was design to mimic and complement the architecture of the old school. Once the concrete pad from the gym is also removed, Mikel said that the drainage problem currently affecting the parking lot could be addressed and corrected.