One long-time member and chair of the Alma Planning Commission was replaced during the Alma City Council meeting Monday night.
Two new members were appointed to the planning commission. Tommy Griffin was appointed for two years and Wesley Warnock for one year.
Warnock replaced the recent appointee Wayne Beck, who was hired to replace Crissy Inge as the mayor’s assistant and also seeks to replace her as the city clerk.
Alma Mayor Keith Greene failed to reappoint Steve Rucker to the planning commission, replacing him with Griffin. Rucker has been on the commission and led as president for at least seventeen years.
All council members voted in favor of the changes except Alderman John Ware, who abstained from voting. Ware also had harsh words for the mayor.
"I think it’s a cowardly act, to replace someone you don’t agree with," Ware said. "Enjoy it while it lasts."
"Well, you’re entitled to your opinion," Greene replied.
Greene and Rucker have been at odds on several city issues recently, including the commission’s responsibilities regarding city planning and the city’s failed annexation attempt.
After the meeting, Greene said replacing Rucker was needed to keep the city moving in a forward direction.
"He has been chairman of the planning commission for 17 years, since 1998; Alma hasn’t grown any," Greene said. "We paid $30,000 for a comprehensive plan for Alma that was just thrown on a shelf somewhere. What would you do?"
Greene was referring to a 20-year draft comprehensive plan that was written up for the city 10 years ago, another source of contention between him and Rucker.
Rucker did not attend the council meeting Monday night.
Council members tabled a decision to appoint a city clerk. Inge resigned as clerk Aug. 31, staying on for just a few weeks after in the city offices to help with training.
Greene recommended Beck for appointment to the position, but council members decided to hold a study session to meeting with all potential candidates. The session has not yet been scheduled.
A veto by the mayor to a previously approved ordinance setting new office hours for the sale of permits was overridden by aldermen during the Monday meeting.
Ordinance 2015-10 extends the hours the city currently offers building permits - from 8-9 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. and by appointment - to the regular office hours of 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m.
Greene vetoed the ordinance, passed by city council members with a vote of 4-2 during their Aug. 20 meeting. With the veto overridden, the ordinance was put into immediate affect.
Aldermen also approved Greene to apply for a General Improvement Fund Community Enhancement Grant for $146,900 to extend the asphalt parking area near the Alma Community Building.
Alma council members met Monday night for the rescheduled meeting after the council failed to meet the legal requirements for a quorum during the regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.