Community voices concerns for Mayor's actions against Mobile City Council

(image: WPMI)

Community members say drama between Mobile’s city council and the mayor is having a negative impact on taxpayers.

“I rise today to voice my dismay at our mayor’s recent actions,” David Preston said, adding “My mayor, the mayor I voted for twice. I am dismayed that my mayor has chosen to sue you.”

Lingering litigation was the topic discussed in a closed-door executive session Tuesday morning. According to court documents obtained by NBC 15 news, Mayor Sandy Stimpson filed a suit against council late last week in response to the attempted re-hiring of a council spokeswoman.

“We have a completely different mindset,” Council Vice President Levon Manzie said, adding “That doesn’t say that he doesn’t have the authority to hire and fire, but it also says that we have the ability to contract.”

On the heels of this lawsuit, council introduced a new proposal today allowing council to enter contracts. Council members argue they are permitted by state law, but the mayor argues only his office can enter into contracts.

The proposal will carry over to next council meeting.

“Mobile has a weak mayor and strong council form of government," community member Jerryln London said.

The political web of contention continues with budget talk.

Several council members were shocked Tuesday to find out that the mayor still hasn't signed the budget for the year that started October 1st.

“I’m very disturbed with what I hear,” Councilmember Fred Richardson said.

The administration's staff says he's holding off because of a mathematical error in the performance contract budgets that is three to four thousand dollars short.

“There are some issues that are going to be intermingled with the back and forth between the mayor and the council, but that’s beside the point,” City Attorney Ricardo Woods said, adding “What we are talking about is mathematical and grammatical errors dealing with omissions.”

“If ‘One Mobile’ is going to ring true, then the administration is going to have to communicate,” Manzie said. “We are not a nuisance, we aren’t a pest, we aren’t a useless appendage of the city. We have a role and we are going to fight to protect this role in the city.”

Council members themselves can't agree on a president even though the law says they "shall" elect a president.

Manzie is very hopeful a retreat Wednesday with the mayor and council members will be help clear the air.

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