(PRICHARD, Ala.) - Proposed five year contracts for Prichard’s fire and police chiefs raised some eyebrows six days before the mayor-elect and his new administration takes over.
“Maybe there needs to be some clarification as to why these contract need to be on the agenda today,” mayor-elect Troy Ephriam told the council after the proposal at Thursday night’s meeting.
Ephraim said the move is a case of lame duck politics, that keeps the former mayor’s appointees in their positions while taking away the new administration’s opportunity to decide whether or not to appoint someone new.
“To have that opportunity taken away, in my opinion, is a failure,” Ephraim told Local 15.
Council President Herman Towner said the contracts are not lame duck politics, and were first proposed months ago.
“If you check the records, those contracts was on the agenda probably in April or May,” Towner told Local 15. “This is not a last minute thing.”
The final vote was three in favor with Ephriam and Councilwoman Earlene Martin-Harris abstaining. While Towner said the vote means the contracts passed, Ephriam contested the contracts needs four votes under Alabama law.
“I do not think that it stands,” Ephriam said. “Whether we get an Attorney General’s opinion to determine that remains to be seen.”
Ephriam said he has not even decided whether to keep the current chiefs, but would like the “courtesy” and “opportunity” to decide.