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A New Era Dothan City Manager - Has The Alabama Open Meetings Law Been Violated?

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 4129

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 02 2019 10:28 AM

DOTHAN:    Changing of guards until January 20, 2019.

As 12:01 AM on January 1, 2019 Dothan's long time City Manager Mike West officially retired. The Dothan City Commission, with a City Attorney and City Personnel Director watching, on December 18th entered into a professional services agreement with Mike West to continue was Dothan City Manager until August 30, 2019.

On December 21, 2019 in a special called Dothan Commission Meeting four Dothan Commissioners, to include Mayor Mark Saliba held a meeting. The four of the seven on the Dothan Commission rescinded the December 18th agreement with West.

It was because the some $ 200,000.00 a year combined salaries they pay the City Attorney and Personnel Director did not keep the seven legal. The employment of Mike West and the professional services contract with Mike West, a pay period had to pass before the end of the employment and the beginning of the professional services contract.

The four of the seven who serve on the Dothan Commission rescinded the contract, entered into a new contract, and named the two department heads who would serve as Interiem Dothan City Manager until West comes back as a Professional Services Contract City Manager.

The resolution also named the two department heads who would serve as Acting City Manager during West abscence with serving in a Professional Services Contract.

Beginning January 1 through January 10, 2019, Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams is serving as Acting City Manager.

From January 10 through January 20, 2019, Dothan Utilities Manager Billy Mayes will serve as Acting City Manager.

On January 20th Retired Mike West will re-appear under a Professional Services Contract as City Manager through April 30, 2019.

West announced in February 2018 he would retire at the end of the year as Dothan City Manager. From that time until now the Dothan Commission have been unable to hire a City Manager. Even with paying a outside head hunting firm to help with the process of hiring a new Dothan City Manager.



It is apparent that the Dothan Commission has and continues to violate the Alabama Open Meetings Law.

How on December 18, 2018 did the seven members of the Dothan City Commission know about the employment of Mike West under a Professional Services Agreement to act as City Manager until April 30? How was the payment terms decided on with all seven if it was not discussed outside a open meeting? On December 18, 2018 there was no discussion and a unanimous vote.

How on December 21, 2018 did four Dothan Commissioners know what they were doing in rescinding the contract and entering into another contract? And only 4 of the 7 Dothan Commission members were present and the 3 absent have said nothing. So they were all in agreement, so when was it discussed?

And in the agreement passed on December 21, 2018 it named the two department heads who were to be "Acting City Manager", and would serve as Acting City Manager when West was gone with West serves in a Professional Services Agreement. If not discussed by the 7 members of the Dothan City Commission prior to December 21, 2018, how did it pass with 4 people there and no discussion?

Was December 21, 2018 an "Emergency Meeting" on notice being sent out? How was it an emergency meeting when West was on until December 31, 2018?

Is email deliberation between members of the Dothan Commission a violation of the Alabama Open Meetings law?

Does Mike West have a Dothan business license to be able to serve as a Professional Services person?

Can a professional services contact person have hire/fire ability and management ability over the Civil Service employees of the City of Dothan?

Just a few questions concerning the Alabama Open Meetings law...

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