Cowling resigns as city clerk

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; A highly popular city clerk shocked officials with her decision to resign her post and go to work in the family business.

Carla Cowling, who became city clerk in 2004, announced Monday that she was resigning her position.

Cowling said Wednesday that tomorrow would be her last day in the office.

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Cowling is &8220;going to work with my family over at Two Rivers Ford.&8221; Two Rivers is owned by her father-in-law, Lynn Cowling.

Mayor Cecil Williams, reached on her cell phone in Montgomery at meetings, said Cowling’s announcement was unexpected.

The mayor said she knew of nothing internally that would have made Cowling decide to leave.

A tersely worded press released was sent out Wednesday. It appeared as a public announcement and was not printed on city letterhead. It announced Cowling’s resignation was accepted during a specially called meeting on Tuesday, during which the city council appointed Sam Gross as interim city clerk.

Councilman Jack Cooley said he was also taken by surprised but voiced assurance in Gross that she could fill the duties until the council selects a new city clerk.

The Personnel Committee is expected to begin a search on Tuesday during a regularly scheduled meeting. Councilman Thomas Moore, who sits on the committee, said the city will give all current city employees the opportunity to apply for the position first.

Moore said his preference is &8220;as soon as we find someone who meets our qualifications, we elect a clerk.&8221; Both Cooley and Williamson said the search should take no longer than 90 days.

All three praised Cowling’s job as city clerk and said she would be missed.