North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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December 27, 2012

Year in review: A look at north Jefferson County in 2012

(Continued)

NORTH JEFFERSON — Government

• Jan. 11: Fultondale City Councilman William “Billy” Howell steps down because he and his family are moving to Gardendale. The city is taking applications to fill the position. Later this month, the council appoints Josh Bryant, a lieutenant with the Fultondale Fire Department, to the seat.

• Jan. 18: Blount County and the city of Warrior settle a lawsuit that stemmed from December 2009, when Warrior attempted to collect a use tax on the portion of Blount County that fell within the city’s 1.5-mile police jurisdiction.

• Feb. 15: The city of Fultondale donates a total of $51,500 to Fultondale Elementary and Fultondale High schools.

• Feb. 22: The Kimberly City Council votes to demand Mayor Craig Harris’ resignation, after they learned he had taken advances on his mayoral salary. They also called for Harris to immediately repay the money and they adopted a resolution of no-confidence.

• Feb. 29: Kimberly cuts employees’ hours to 32 a week in response to increased city expenses and declining revenues from business licenses and sales taxes.

• March 14: Rep. Spencer Bachus wins the Republican primary for the Sixth Congressional District, where he will run for re-election. Local men running against him were Sen. Scott Beason, of Gardendale, and Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge.

• March 14: The Morris Planning and Zoning Board gives a favorable recommendation regarding the controversial issue of rezoning property that would allow Enon Baptist Church to expand its parking lot. Affected homeowners strongly oppose the expansion because the parking lot would come between their houses, both of which are historic. The homeowners say the parking lot would damage the historical integrity of their homes. In April, the Morris City Council approves the rezoning.

• April 4: Warrior Mayor Rena Hudson announces she will not seek re-election. She has served a total of 24 years as mayor.

• May 30: The Fultondale City Council approves a loan of $300,000 from the city to the city’s Commercial Development Authority for the possible purchase of land for businesses to locate to Fultondale. The CDA is required to pay back the loan.

• June 6: The Kimberly City Council votes to require Mayor Craig Harris to prove that he lives in city limits, or resign. The resolution stated that the council has reason to believe that Harris had moved outside of Kimberly. Later this month, Harris announces he will resign on July 15.

• June 13: The Department of Justice approves the city of Gardendale’s new voting districts. The city was required to redistrict following the 2010 census because the population had grown by 19.5 percent and there was an uneven distribution of voters in each district.

• July 18: Sixty-six individuals qualify to run for mayor or council in north Jefferson County elections; the municipal election is in August.

• July 18: The Kimberly?City Council elects Mayor Pro Tem Bob Ellerbrock to fill the mayor position after Harris steps down. For the August elections, Ellerbrock becomes the new mayor for the next term by being the only one to qualify for election to the position.

• Aug. 22: The Kimberly City Council denies a request by Kimberly Church of God to vacate an alley. Neighbors Tim and Leslie voiced strong opposition to the measure.

• Aug. 22: Residents file a lawsuit against the city of Gardendale to keep Phillips Drive open; the lawsuit is later dropped.

• Aug. 29: After municipal elections, Gardendale and Fultondale keep their incumbent mayors; Othell Phillips and Jim Lowery, respectively. Other mayoral winners are Joe Pylant in Morris, Johnny Ragland in Warrior and Larry Armstrong in Hayden. In Trafford, Robert Niblett and Clint Daniels will be in a runoff election on Oct. 9.

• Oct. 10: Runoff election results: Clint Daniels is the new mayor of Trafford; Allen Jerkins defeats incumbent Peggy Tumlin for the Gardendale Council District 1 seat; in Fultondale, Darrell Hubbert was re-elected to Place 3 after beating Jimmy Lay in a close race and Greg Morris defeats Thomas ‘Tip’ Blizard in another close race.

• Oct. 17: Gardendale City Hall moves next door temporarily to the multi-purpose building owned by Gardendale First Baptist Church. The city hall building will be demolished soon to make way for a CVS Pharmacy. Plans call for a new city hall to be built at the future city center on Mt. Olive Road.

• Nov. 21: Fultondale is approved for more than $1.2 million in federal funding for two storm shelters that will house a total of 700 people.

• Dec. 5: Morris Mayor Joe Pylant decides to not reappoint Police Chief Brian Cochran, which draws a firestorm of protest from the community. He does not give specific reasons, but says Cochran was not fired and did not quit. Later this month, the town agrees to compensate Cochran more than $8,000 for vacation time and other benefits.

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