Petty: It’s personal

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A long county commission workshop meeting got longer and personal Tuesday night over an appointment to the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board.

The county has three appointments to the 30-member board, and its seats currently are filled by Amy Jones, Brenda Petty and Rebecca Mauldin.

Mauldin’s term was expiring, and she wanted to be reappointed. The SCAMH executive director, Dianne Baugher, had sent a letter to the commission asking that she be reappointed.

Commission Chairman Bill Godwin said Lena Boswell also has expressed an interest and that he wants to get diversity on county boards. Ms. Boswell is African American.

Elmo Lewis Jr. and Willie Thomas attended the meeting and spoke on Boswell’s behalf.

Petty, who is the county administrator, said, “Ms. Mauldin happens to be my sister,” adding that, based on a comment Godwin made to her, she believed his motives for replacing Mauldin were personal.

She said diversity has not been an issue in other committee appointments made by the current administration.

“Mr. Godwin wants to fill this seat with diversity because it’s my sister,” Petty said. “It’s personal.”

Godwin countered that he wasn’t sure if she were speaking as the county administrator or as an individual.

“How about I’m speaking as a mental health board member,” she said. “She’s got a recommendation and experience in the field.”