OPINION: Troublesome Dysfunction In Northport

OPINION: Troublesome Dysfunction In Northport

NORTHPORT, AL — The dysfunction simply has no end. The next chapter was thrown open on Monday night with the forced resignation of District 4 Councilwoman Jamie Dykes from her position on the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission, only a few weeks after the drama surrounding filling the District 3 seat on the City Council appeared to come to an end.

As Patch previously reported, sources told Patch that Dykes was given an ultimatum by City Attorney Ron Davis to either resign or face a public hearing where the council would probably vote to remove her from the advisory board. Dykes announced last week that she would resign from her Council Committee assignments.

Although knowledgeable, the city attorney does not have the only ability to corner an elected official without acting on behalf of his superior, it should be highlighted.

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Another day, again another debate.

Dykes decided against holding a public hearing and instead chose to resign as the advisory board’s chair and the council’s nominated P&Z member. Given how unpleasant such a public hearing could turn out to be, it’s difficult to blame her.

The announcement of the news came several days after the part-time councilwoman abruptly resigned from the committees after raising concerns about the committees’ power dynamics and having to take paid time off from her job to attend committee meetings, which are held before the close of business on the same day as the City Council’s regular meetings.

The Planning & Zoning Commission members that the mayor appoints are not subject to removal by the Council in accordance with Alabama Code Section 11-52-3 (D). Members chosen by the Council, like Dykes, can be ousted for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office following a public hearing. If so, a formal explanation of the reasons for the official’s removal from the Commission must be provided, as required by law.

However, Dykes would not experience this. Instead, she learned of the deadline on Monday, shortly before the Council decided to name District 3 Councilman Karl Wiggins to take the councilwoman and P&Z chair’s place.

The decision appeared to be made by a small group of individuals who seem unwilling to speak publicly on the forced resignation. It was a decision not made by the voters of District 4 or even by the full Council in the public forum. Click here to read the full article

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