Sunday, June 7, 2015

City Committee Not Operating According To Law?

Fairhope, Alabama. (

Bob Riggs in center

At its last meeting, long-time member Bob Riggs and the two recently-appointed members proposed the committee adopt bylaws to establish operating procedures -- for the first time ever.

Riggs referred to the original 1962 city ordinance establishing the committee "directing us as a board to set up operating procedures and bylaws."

One big problem is there is no set schedule for meetings like  other city committees, making attending difficult or impossible for some if one is called on short-notice.

Riggs cited an "important" meeting two weeks earlier he would have attended if longer notice had been given.

Citing her busy work schedule, new member Margaret Myers agreed that regular, set meeting dates (monthly, quarterly?) would make more sense that randomly calling them "as needed" -- as did Skip Jones who thought regularly scheduled meetings would afford citizens out in the community a chance to come to address pending issues as well.
Chairman Yeager

Riggs also suggested a "meaningful public agenda" be published and made available to members, as is routinely done with most other committees so they could be better prepared.

Chairman Tom Yeager said the matter was discussed at their last meeting and members present then decided things have been working well all these years and changes were not needed; there is no need to schedule regular meetings, calling them as-needed suffices.

Yeager repeated a common theme often heard in many other city matters that,  if something is working well already there is no need to change it, even if it has not been exactly according to the laws.

Non-voting member Councilman Boone disagreed in this case, saying bylaws would "give us more direction."

Boone: "In the past, it was no big deal ... whatever anybody wanted to do down there (Fly Creek marina) the city let them do it ... now its changing somewhat .. more going on now ... ."

Boone said if there was nothing to do at regularly scheduled meetings, it could be canceled; special meetings may still be called as well if needed.


Myers said she thought that since it was required by the law currently on the books, the board should  comply as soon as possible..

"If that is what the law says ... we need to be in compliance with the law ... . Who wants to break the law?"

No one answered her rhetorical question.

Riggs made a motion to appoint a sub-committee to draft operating bylaws and bring them to the  next meeting for consideration; Myers seconded it.

Since there are currently no procedures in place to govern such motions, superintendent James Gillespie suggested Chairman Yeager appoint two or three members to it.

The motion passed unanimously; Riggs, Chavez and Myers were selected for the sub-committee: Myers as chairman.

(see video below)


boat lifts here?
 * Chairman Yeager said Rick Gambino, the new operator of the marina at the municipal pier wants permission to install electric lifts in the boat slips there. Gambino would install one for his own boat first, then more as needed to lift boats out of the water to avoid damage from the rough water there common there. The lifts may attract more customers to rent the slips, especially motorboats; new wooden pilings up to about 35' tall would be required.
* The committee discussed the 'Bed n' Boat' application it had approved at its last meeting; the city council had sent it back for more consideration. The applicant (Accommodations Afloat, Inc) wanted to establish a charter business in a rented slip, and offer overnight stays as well in his 36' sailboat 'Serenity' -- but it turned out the land-use zoning and slip-lease contract may not allow for it there. Other objections also arose over its close proximity to fuel tanks (slip one) and the lack of necessary licensing by the applicant. Possible increased insurance costs for the city is a consideration as well. City staff was asked get with all parties involved to try and reach a resolution, possibly by moving it to another more-appropriate slip somewhere else.

* Briefly discussed the renewal of Eastern Shore Marines' lease with owner Ed Wall. It expires later this year.

'Serenity' @ slip #1, about 3 weeks ago.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bubba, lets meet tonight, have a beer later.

Anonymous said...

No electric lifts in the boat slips !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who authorized the expansion of the restaurant on the pier, almost doubling its size? Was it done in public or behind closed doors?

all for the tourists.

It is already to crowded and hard to find parking sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I live here and I'll go to the new place. It's not just for tourists. I go to the pier with my family often for sunset strolls and never have had to park away from the roundabout around the fountain. Granted, Shux will draw some new cars, but I don't see it worth complaining about.

What's wrong with tourists anyway? Heaven forbid we live in a town that other people want to visit. Shouldn't we be flattered by that?

Anonymous said...

So much about the tourists and all the events now being held in downtown Fairhope and at the pier depends on where you live. If you live within a couple of blocks as I do, its now more a entertainment district. Traffic and noise are forcing me to move, but who am I to stop the few who profit.