Fred Richardson: "Today the Council Fought Back"

Moonpie Fred Richardson

The Mobile City Council and Mayor Stimpson may be headed to court over the issue of whether or not the Council has the authority to hire their own public relations person. For a brief recap of the conflict, you can watch NBC 15's Cassie Fambro below-

 

Here is what Fred Richardson put on his Facebook page about the issue- the original post from Facebook is below:


TODAY, THE COUNCIL FOUGHT BACK!!!!

In 2016, after the Council voted to set aside $21 million per year for capital projects, our Council passed a resolution for us to contract with a consultant to handle communications between our offices, our citizens, the media, and the Administration. Instead of signing the contract, the Mayor sent Council a letter whereby he appointed the person selected by Council and assigned this person to the Office of the City Council.

About two or more weeks ago Mayor Stimpson abruptly fired the Council’s communication specialist, without saying a word to the council, who had nothing but praise for the fired contractor.

Last week, a Council sponsored contract was placed on the agenda authorizing the council to consummate a contract to hire a communication specialist. The accompanying resolution provides the Mayor sign the contract within 10 days after receiving it. If it’s not signed in those ten days, it will be signed by Council Vice President. That contract was laid over until today.

After our meeting opened, Mayor Stimpson spoke in opposition to the contract and deemed it an illegal resolution. His attorney Ricardo Woods even threatened the council with possible expulsion from office for having discussed the fired employee with Mayor Stimpson, and he declared a vote for the resolution containing the contract was an encroachment on the Mayor’s authority.

Myself and others fought back by citing the Zoghby Act11-44c-37 (2) that stated “The mayor can appoint and remove all officers and employees, except THOSE (plural) appointed by the council.” Our point was, the Council can enter into contract with a person to perform necessary work, by law. And it was stated the City’s Organizational Chart, submitted by Mayor Stimpson, assigned the communication specialist to report directly to the council. When the vote was called for, all Councilmbers voted for the contract except Councilman Joel Daves. It passed.

The Council is severely handicapped without a communication specialist onboard to handle community and committee meetings, special projects, newsletters, mailings, media releases and news conferences, and write letters. While the Mayor has 94 such contract employees to help him, he is fighting all seven of us for contracting with one person to help us. I am mighty proud of our Council who stood up today, and fought back for what is right. And although this issue is not over, we are not fearful of our future destiny. If fact, we are emboldened to rectify and reel-in the runaway past policy on contracting. We are spending over $4 million per year on contract employees without any of them coming before our Council while the Zoghby Act is clear that only the Council can contract for the city. We have much work to do.In 2016, after the Council voted to set aside $21 million per year for capital projects, our Council passed a resolution for us to contract with a consultant to handle communications between our offices, our citizens, the media, and the Administration. Instead of signing the contract, the Mayor sent Council a letter whereby he appointed the person selected by Council and assigned this person to the Office of the City Council.

About two or more weeks ago Mayor Stimpson abruptly fired the Council’s communication specialist, without saying a word to the council, who had nothing but praise for the fired contractor.

Last week, a Council sponsored contract was placed on the agenda authorizing the council to consummate a contract to hire a communication specialist. The accompanying resolution provides the Mayor sign the contract within 10 days after receiving it. If it’s not signed in those ten days, it will be signed by Council Vice President. That contract was laid over until today.

After our meeting opened, Mayor Stimpson spoke in opposition to the contract and deemed it an illegal resolution. His attorney Ricardo Woods even threatened the council with possible expulsion from office for having discussed the fired employee with Mayor Stimpson, and he declared a vote for the resolution containing the contract was an encroachment on the Mayor’s authority.

Myself and others fought back by citing the Zoghby Act11-44c-37 (2) that stated “The mayor can appoint and remove all officers and employees, except THOSE (plural) appointed by the council.” Our point was, the Council can enter into contract with a person to perform necessary work, by law. And it was stated, the City’s Organizational Chart, submitted by Mayor Stimpson, assigned the communication specialist to report directly to the council. When the vote was called for, all Councilmbers voted for the communication specialist contract except Councilman Joel Daves. It passed 6 to 1.

The Council is severely handicapped without a communication specialist onboard to handle community and committee meetings, special projects, newsletters, mailings, media releases, news conferences, and write letters. While the Mayor has 94 such contract employees to help him, he is fighting all seven of us for contracting with one person to help us. I am mighty proud of our Council who stood up today, and fought back for what is right, even with the threat of prosecution. And although this issue is not over, we are not fearful of our future destiny of greatness. If fact, we are emboldened to rectify and reel-in the runaway past policy on contracting. We are spending over $4 million per year on contract employees without any of them coming before our Council, when the Zoghby Act is clear that only the Council can consummate a contract for the city. We have much work to do.

 

title

Content Goes Here