Two former Daphne employees were granted future hearings in front of the City Council after a lengthy executive session following a regularly scheduled meeting July 7.
The two employees, who weren’t named in the motion, have hearings scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5 and Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall to appeal firings from Mayor Dane Haygood, according to city attorney Jay Ross.
Councilman John Lake couldn’t confirm the names of the former employees, but said he was pleased by the decision made by councilors to give them hearings.
“My hope is that if the process is upheld, however it happens, it will help the city,” Lake said after the meeting. “The most important thing is that the person be allowed to voice their opinion.”
The “judicial-style” hearings will take place at 5:30 p.m. behind closed-doors, but any vote taken afterward would be open to the public, Ross said.
Ross announced that he had two issues to discuss with the council Monday night during an executive session, saying both involved personnel issues. The session lasted nearly an hour and a half.
Lagniappe previously reported the city had received a letter from an attorney representing former interim Finance Director and Treasurer Michael Hinson accusing Haygood of wrongful termination. Haygood and Ross both denied the allegation, with Ross stating that Haygood was within his power to fire Hinson during a probationary period.
The letter requested that Hinson receive a hearing in front of the council in reference to the firing.
In other business, the council unanimously accepted a bid from Asphalt Services, Inc. in the amount of $146,000 to replace part of the pedestrian bridge over D’Olive Creek in an area known as “Gator Alley.”
That portion of the bridge has been broken and unusable since a heavy rainstorm hit the area in late April, said Public Works Director Randy Johnson.
“The mayor’s office and my office have gotten more calls about ‘Gator Alley’ than any other damage from the rainstorm,” Johnson said.
He told councilors the Federal Emergency Management Agency would match up to 75 percent of the funds needed for the bridge.
The council needed unanimous votes to suspend the rules to vote on both the bid award and the appropriation of because both resolutions were being read for the first time. The council granted the rules suspension, but not without a discussion.
Councilman Pat Rudicell, who reluctantly voted in favor of a suspension of rules, argued that there are only two reasons to suspend the rules on the first reading of resolutions, emergencies and deadlines.
“I think it’s very important to get this done, but does it meet the threshold,” he said. “Before you vote, just keep that in mind.”