Libertyville can’t conduct business

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It’s a “catch-22” for the Libertyville Town Council – unable to conduct business because of the lack of two council members and unable to fill those vacant seats to conduct business due to lack of interest, members said.

A crowd of about 10 people attended Tuesday’s public hearing on an ordinance that would have prohibited the discharging of firearms within the town; however, no business could be conducted not only due to the lack of a quorum, but also because of the lack of a municipal court.

Representing the town was Mayor Byron Dozier and Councilman L.D. Spivey, along with town clerk Marilyn Walker. Councilwoman Angie Atchison did not attend the night’s 18-minute meeting.

There were only two supporters of the proposed ordinance in attendance.

Walker said Alabama Code states that before any ordinance that requires a fine as a punishment is passed, the town must abolish its defunct municipal court and then contract with another court to collect any fine; however, no town business can be conducted until the two vacant seats are filled.

“I talked with the Administrative Office of Courts (Tuesday) who said that is what we have to do get an ordinance like this,” Walker said. “But we need people to sit on the council before we can do that.”

Both Walker and Dozier said the council hopes to meet with Probate Judge Ben Bowden to see what avenues are available to fill the seats.

Typically, once a seat becomes vacant, council members submit names and vote on the replacement. If an agreement can‘t be reached within 60 days, the governor can be asked to appoint a replacement. However, in Libertyville’s case, the two seats have been vacant for years, and members must seek legal counsel on how to proceed.