Board to public: Sorry, bear with us

Published 12:03 am Thursday, September 6, 2012

­­The Florala Utility Board took steps to protect its finances and property Wednesday after dismissing its manager, Lynn Hughes, earlier this week.

Chairman Marvin Williford Sr. said, “These are regular procedures when you make the kind of changes we’ve made.

“I want to apologize the public for rude behavior they may have experienced at this office,” he said. “It’s going to improve. This company is going to move forward. We’re going to get our finances straightened out and to pursue things and work with the city.”

Williford also called in the board’s employees to ask why security cameras throughout the building were covered.

“Alabama Power said some of the cameras were taped up,” he said. “That’s the only security we have, and I have been assured them it won’t happen again.”

One employee said once the tape was discovered, it was removed.

The board voted to change the locks on the utility building, which the board occupies jointly with Alabama Power, to change the combination on the building safe and to make banking changes.

The board, which met in a special called meeting, appointed Jessica Jackson as the interim office manager and added her as a co-signer to the board’s bank accounts, which would allow for payment of payroll and bills.

The board also voted to remove Hughes and retired board member Horace Bell, as a co-signer from the bank accounts.

“This is a new beginning for us,” Williford said. “We’ve got some issues to work out, and I ask the public to bear with us. We’re going to get organized and back in tip-top condition quickly.”

Williford said the board will meet again on Monday to begin its budget process and address ways to better work with the city.