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Jemison City Council member Henderson resigns (updated)

Published 7:33pm Monday, June 3, 2013

Less than 5 minutes before the regularly scheduled Jemison City Council meeting on Monday, Jim Henderson told the council he was resigning from his position as a councilman.

“Due to things out of my control, I am resigning from the city council,” Henderson said. “I appreciate everything but I want my resignation to begin immediately.”

Henderson gave city clerk Sheila Hogge his city owned cell phone and key to Jemison City Hall, addressed councilmen George Brasher, Robert Morris, Sam Reed and Rex Bittle and left the meeting.

Mayor Eddie Reed was absent from Monday’s meeting due to illness and Sam Reed presided in the mayor’s place.

Due to Eddie Reed being absent, Sam Reed said the council could not formally vote on Henderson’s resignation and would more than likely require a written letter of resignation from Henderson before it could be made official.

In August 2012 Henderson defeated incumbent Donnie Lane for the District 2 position in the municipal elections and was sworn in as councilman on Nov. 5, 2012.

On Tuesday, Mayor Reed said he was surprised to learn that Henderson resigned from his position on the council and had not spoken to him about his decision as of Tuesday morning.

“I was informed about the meeting last night and the council handled everything in a correct manner,” Reed said. “I have not spoken with Henderson about any of this and had not talked to him about his decision to resign prior to the meeting.”

Reed said legally, the next step for the council is to declare a vacancy on the council at the June 17 council meeting.

After declaring the vacancy, the council may vote to fill the vacancy by a majority vote of the council at the July 1 meeting.

If the position is not filled in 60 days from June 3, each existing council member may submit a name to Gov. Robert Bentley for appointment.

“The council is going to move forward with what we need to do as far as appointing someone to fill this position,” Reed said.

Henderson couldn’t be reached on Tuesday.

After Henderson’s resignation, the council started the meeting Monday by approving a motion to approve two speed breakers to be placed along Gentry Street.

Brasher said residents who live along Gentry Street signed a petition to present to the council requesting the speed breakers be placed along the street to reduce speeders who often cut across the dirt road as a shortcut.

Although the speed limit along the road is no more than 25 miles per hour, Brasher said residents often complained about drivers speeding along the road and suggested reflective breakers to cut down on the speeding.

Brasher said the breakers would be reflective and signs would be placed along the road to indicate the 4-inch high breakers were there.

The council also heard from Jemison Deputy Chief Marc McMinn regarding JPD being approved for the 10-33 Program, a federal government assistance program.

McMinn said he would be traveling to Huntsville on Wednesday to begin the process of locating items the city could use through the program.

McMinn said he has been trying to get enrolled in the program for the last two years and after completing all of the necessary paperwork, the city was approved.

“This is a great program and we can utilize it,” McMinn said.

As long as the equipment is used for law enforcement purposes, those enrolled in the program can acquire things at no additional cost to the taxpayers.

McMinn said some of the items he is hoping to acquire through the program are a van to transport prisoners to court, a boat and diving equipment and a generator.

The council told McMinn they were supportive of the program and appreciated the work he had done to make it possible for the city to be enrolled.

Due to Reed being absent, the council voted to pay the bills at the next council meeting on June 17.

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