By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, February 7, 2017, the House Municipal and Local Government Committee gave a favorable report to HB14. House Bill 14 would authorize mayors of small towns and cities to designate another person to serve on certain agencies, boards, commissions, and other entities.
The bill was sponsored by state Representative Randall Shedd (R-Fairview). Rep. Shedd said, “As a former Mayor of a very small town, we understand that a lot of boards that mayors are members of have a difficulty getting a quorum. I am aware of one board that was not been able to meet for a year because it couldn’t get a quorum.”
Rep, Shedd said, “Small town mayors have to work other jobs.”
Shedd said that the bill would give mayors at their discretion to appoint a designee to serve in their capacity.
The bill would not apply to large cities.
State Representative Johnnie Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay) also spoke in support of the legislation. Rep. Morrow said, “The Mayor would be able to rescind that appointment at any time at their discretion.” Morrow said that small town mayors can appoint or not appoint and they can withdraw their appointment at any time.
Rep. Shedd said that some small town mayors make as little as $200 a month and they have full time jobs they have to work.
State Representative Barbara Boyd (D-Anniston) asked why the bill made convicted felons not eligible to be appointed.
Rep. Morrow said that they brought this bill last year and legislators then felt that there needed to be a prohibition on felons being appointed to stand in for the Mayor.
Rep. Shedd said that the personal appointment can be withdrawn at any time and the appointee does not have to live in the town. Shedd said that he has experienced this himself when he was the Mayor of Fairview.
The Committee voted to give the bill a favorable report. It could be before the full Alabama House of Representatives as soon as Tuesday.