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City council appoints new department heads

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
The new city administration addressed the appointment of department heads in its first meeting Monday afternoon.
Several positions were by mayoral appointment and did not require a council vote.
Mayor Howard Shell reappointed Police Chief Danny McKinley, Fire Chief Gerry McGhee, and Street Department Manager Don Whatley.
Attorney David Anderson was appointed as city prosecutor, replacing attorney George Jones who had held the position for the past 12 years.
In making the appointment, Shell said Jones was hired by the city when he was a young struggling attorney and he felt it was time for the city to help another young attorney.
By council vote, Robert Earl Godwin was appointed to the Airport Committee. Councilman Jim Staff had served on the committee but had to step down when he was elected to the council. Staff will serve as council liaison to the committee.
Godwin manages the Atmore Municipal Airport and has four planes there. His term on the Airport Committee expired during the previous administration's term and he was not reappointed.
Before the vote, Councilman John Garrard said he had been approached by someone interested in serving on the committee. Shell said he felt it was "ultra important" that the airport manager serve on the airport committee.
Garrard said he just wanted to let the council know that someone was interested but he did not put the name in nomination.
Councilmen Louie Turner, Webb Nall and Jim Staff voted to appoint Godwin. Councilman John Watkins was absent. Garrard abstained, saying that he thought it would be a conflict of interest if he voted.
In other business, the council
ZD voted to replace two water coolers in city hall.
ZD voted to allow the police department to let bids for three new vehicles and the drug task force to let bids for one new vehicle.
ZD set trick or treat hours for Tuesday, Oct. 31, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
ZD voted to go ahead with the remodeling of the council chambers, the mayor's office and the city hall lobby.
ZD voted to review the budget adopted by the previous administration. The 5 percent across the board pay increase for city employees will stand, Shell said, and is not subject to review. However, he asked the councilmen if they would meet in a workshop to look at capital projects in the budget.
The workshop will be held Friday, Oct. 13, 8 a.m.
The council meeting lasted about 15 minutes.