Two issues for Corinth’s May 21 board meeting draw fire

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Two issues the Corinth Board of Alderman at Tuesday’s regular meeting voted to add to the May 21 agenda are expected to draw intense discussion among board members, and one of those issues is expected to receive intense reaction from the general public.
Alderman Andrew “Bubba” Labas proposed that chief of police be made an appointed position. He said he has no concerns about Police Chief David Lancaster’s performance.
Mayoral veto
Labas also proposed the city charter be changed to give the mayor veto power. Action on any vetoed board vote would be postponed until the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
Board members voted to place both issues on the next regular meeting agenda.
Four board members already have reacted to the proposal to make police chief an appointed position.
Draft resolution
Labas read excerpts from a draft resolution concerning changes for the police chief job. Police chief is the only departmental head not appointed by the board, he said.
Aldermen Chip Wood and Ben Albarracin said they had not heard any feedback from residents calling for the change, and they would need an overriding reason for a switch.
Aldermen Mike Hopkins and Michael McFall said they would agree to having the issue on the ballot at the next regular municipal election in 2014. However, McFall said that since the issue was only brought up and presented to aldermen on Tuesday, he would not be prepared to take any action until it was thoroughly discussed.
Lancaster also said he strongly opposes the change, where only six city residents make a decision that affects all.
McFall expressed the same view regarding veto power for the mayor.
Under the current six-alderman structure of city government, the mayor votes to break a tie. The only mayor-alderman government structure in which the mayor has veto power, McFall said, is when there is a five-member city board.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com