Florala plans to end lawsuit

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The more-than-two-year strife between the Florala City Council and the Florala Utilities Board came to an end Monday as the council approved a compromise solution from the utilities board.

The heavy debate surrounded the number of municipal officers allowed to serve on the utility board. According to the Code of Alabama and documents recorded by the city of Florala, no more than three municipal officers are allowed to serve at one time on the board. The utility board maintains its documentation allows for only one municipal officer.

Both entities have agreed to a complete overhaul of the board, in which no more than two municipal officers will be allowed to serve.

“It is one of those situations that neither side was completely happy with the agreement, but we both saw it was in the best interest of the city as a whole to agree,” Mayor Robert Williamson said. “One of the conditions is that we drop the suit, so once we agree, it’s over.”

Each of the council members agreed it was time for the situation to come to a close.

“I think the past is just that — the past — and you try to work from the present forward,” Williamson said. “There has been much discussion during the past month with the Utility Board to try and come to a resolution.

“We’re a small city with a small revenue stream and the only way can move forward is to have everyone pulling in the same direction,” he said.

The following appointments were agreed upon: Councilman Marvin Williford will take the place of Danny Franklin for a term of Jan. 22, 2007, to Jan. 22, 2013; resident James Stone for the term currently occupied by Pearl Smith for a term of Jan. 22, 2005, through Jan. 22, 2011; Mayor Robert Williamson will take the place of T.C. Boyett for a term of Oct. 12, 2005, through Oct. 12, 2012; resident Marion Causey will take the place of William H. McDaniel for a term of Jan. 22, 2009, through Jan. 22, 2015; Horace Bell will be reappointed to a four-year term until Oct. 12, 2009.

The utilities board agreed to amend their articles of incorporation to reflect the agreed upon changes Thursday and will file the appropriate paperwork with the Covington County Probate Judge’s Office once it is returned by the city council, Williamson said.