Board appointment leads to outbursts at Florala council

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Personalities clashed at Monday’s Florala City Council meeting when an apparent disagreement over a recent appointment to the recreation board spilled over after the meeting.

Earlier this month, Recreation Board President Garry Maxey submitted a letter informing the council of the board’s desire to fill board member Sandy McCranie’s expired term. The city council approved the board’s recommendation to appoint Jan Allred for McCranie’s seat. McCranie’s term expired at the end of August.

Discussion before Monday’s meeting informed the general public that McCranie had expressed an interest to be reappointed to the seat; however, Maxey submitted the letter asking the council appoint Allred instead — without consent of the entire board, according to board member Lori Petrey.

Petrey said she had requested discussion of the appointment to be placed on the night’s agenda, but the item was stricken at the request of Mayor Danny Franklin.

Franklin said it was his opinion that the public meeting was not the place to air the disagreement between the board members. However, Councilwoman Lorene Thompson disagreed with Franklin after McCranie said it was reported at the last meeting that she did not wish to serve on the rec board.

“If they have a point of view to discuss, we should hear it,” Thompson said.

Franklin maintained it was something that should be handled within the rec board and if the council was required to take action, it would.

“We’re just not going to discuss it,” he said.

Words were quickly exchanged between Petrey, Thompson and Franklin, where at one point, Petrey called Franklin a “liar.”

“I asked (for this) to be put on the agenda and for some reason it was taken off,” Petrey said. “I know what you told me (about the way the appointment should be handled). You’re a liar. Things weren’t done right, and they need to be fixed.”

Councilwoman Sue Mathis asked Petrey what she believed would be a solution to the rec board’s problem.

“What we’d like to see is that the board be a seven-member board instead of five and (McCranie) reappointed,” she said. “She volunteered her time and effort this past weekend for our ‘Back to School Bash.’ She didn’t have to do that. She’s not even a member of the board. She didn’t have to do it.”

Under state law, recreation boards must have five members but can have up to nine members.

In light of the appointment conflict, Allred said she would step down but would be willing to serve if needed. However, another board member, Jennifer Drakkar, sent word by City Clerk Lykeshia Anderson that if McCranie is reappointed, Drakkar would step down. Thompson then said two other rec board members had stated their intention to resign if McCranie was not reappointed.

While the meeting ended without any official action taken by the council, other than approving the minutes of the last meeting, rec board members and city council members agreed it would take an action of the rec board, which will meet at 6 p.m. Friday, to resolve the issue.