Former city attorney left his mark on the community

Published 9:35 pm Friday, June 26, 2009

I returned from out of town this week to learn that Morgan Reynolds died last Sunday. A Clanton resident, Morgan certainly made his mark on the history of our city while serving as city attorney for nearly five decades.

On a personal note, I met Morgan when I began covering the Clanton City Council in 1975. A veteran then of more than 25 years as city attorney, he impressed me with his knowledge of municipal and contract law.

Listening to him give advice to councils over the years, I learned how important a city attorney is to a community.

Morgan gave sound legal advice even when it was not what the city council wanted to hear.

I remember times when he would joke with the council saying, “You can take something that is not legal, dress it up and bring it through the back door and make it legal.” That’s good advice for all of us.

Many times as a newspaper reporter I called Morgan to ask legal questions about articles I was writing. He was always gracious, ready to help and very thorough in his response to my questions.

Others respected Morgan and his abilities also. Mayor Billy Joe Driver said in Tuesday’s Clanton Advertiser, “My opinion is you wouldn’t find a better person, neighbor or friend.” Mayor Driver served many years on the city council and as mayor while Morgan was city attorney.

Current city attorney John Hollis Jackson said, “He was a fine man in every regard. He was a patriot in service to his country, he was a lawyer who served his profession well for over 50 years and was a gentleman in every sense of the word.”

I couldn’t have said it better.