Marengo County EDA develops

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 13, 2007

LINDEN &8212; After months of work by a steering committee, the Marengo County Economic Authority has come to a critical point, Commissioner Ken Tucker said Tuesday.

The organization is at the point now where each participating municipality can vote on the draft of the by-laws and A structure for the board of directors was decided upon.

When coming up with criteria for who would serve on the board, Tucker said the committee took several qualifications into consideration.

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Another issue is which entities and to what degree those entities could contribute financially to the organization.

For example, both the Marengo County Commission and the Demopolis City Council combined with the Demopolis Industrial Development Board have each pledged to contribute $50,000 to the authority. Therefore both of these entities will have five appointments to the board. The city council will have four appointments and the IDB will have one, for a total of five.

The Linden City Council, which has pledged $15,000, will have two appointments to the board and the Linden Industrial Development Board will have one appointment.

The six remaining appointments will come from other municipalities in the county based on both their financial commitments and their population numbers. Tucker said the contributions from the smaller municipalities range from $400 to $1,000.

Tucker said population also played an issue in determining how appointments were chosen. The approximate population of Demopolis is comparative to the remaining population in the county, which makes up for the remaining appointments to the board.

In addition to a board of directors, the steering committee is considering creating an executive council of five members who will meet on a regular, more frequent basis than the entire board.

E-911 board

The board appointment procedure for the new authority wasn&8217;t the only discussion of boards, however. After asking for blanket resignations from the existing E-911 board members at the previous meeting amid continued scrutiny over its functionality, the commission began the process of nominating new members for the board.

Commissioner Jerry Loftin of District 5 nominated Caroline Rogers of Sweet Water to serve. Commissioner Calvin Martin of District 4 nominated Joseph Hudson of Thomaston, who previously served on the board. Tucker of District 2 nominated Sylvan Mutschler and Mike Carlisle on behalf of Chairman John Crawford of District 3.

Two other at large members were nominated. Martin nominated Bruce Baker, the fire chief in Dixons Mills and Commissioner Freddie Armstead nominate Ron Few of Demopolis.

As for Armstead&8217;s nomination for his district, he nominated himself to serve in the capacity of a board member.

Loftin disagreed, saying if a commissioner were to serve on the board it should be up to a consensus vote, not for a single commissioner nominating himself. Tucker also disagreed, saying the board should function independently and no commissioner should serve on the board.

Crawford put the nomination to a vote, saying commissioners serving on the board should be &8220;all or none.&8221; Loftin and Tucker voted against the nomination, Armstead in favor.

In response, Armstead nominated Carrie Rowser for District 1, who is also a former board member. The commission responded by saying one of the reasons for asking for resignations was to repopulate it with members who would serve consistently, insinuating Armstead&8217;s appointment did not regularly come to meetings.

Crawford reiterated the rationale for the new board was to &8220;take politics out of it.&8221;

Armstead persisted, saying there was already politics at play with his choice of a nomination.

The commission went into executive session, but took no further action on the board nominations.