Florala names new utilities board

Published 8:32 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Florala Utilities Board Thursday officially ended more than two years of strife with the city as three new members were installed and a new chairman was elected for the board.

The event came after the two entities compromised in a debate about 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 maintained 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.

During the meeting, William H. “Billy” McDaniel stepped down as chairman and will serve out his remaining month on the board as a regular member. James Stone, Florala Mayor Robert Williamson and Councilman Marvin Williford were installed as board members. Stone took the spot vacated by Pearl Smith; Williamson, the seat vacated by T.C. Boyett, and Williford, the seat vacated by Danny Franklin.

Williford was also elected to assume McDaniel’s position as chairman.

Board member Horace Bell was reappointed and will serve out the remainder of his four-year term, which ends Oct. 12, 2009.

Each of the appointments was made as outlined in the recent compromise approved by the city council earlier this month at the request of the utilities board.

“The compromise is done,” McDaniel said. “It was accepted and the suit dropped and it feels exceedingly good.”

McDaniel said the official paperwork has yet to be filed in the Covington County Probate Office, but that both sides’ attorneys felt the timing was appropriate to take action Thursday.

“The only compromise made was that there could only be two members of city government on the board instead of one,” he said. “I think Marvin (Williford) is going to do a great job. He’s perfectly capable — an honest man who’s diligent in his work.”

Marion Causey has been selected to take McDaniel’s seat, which will be vacated upon his retirement on Jan. 22.