Late mayor’s wife named to council

Published 11:35 pm Monday, December 3, 2012

Making a mark: State Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace presented the family of former Thorsby mayor Dearl Hilyer with a resolution at Monday’s town council meeting.

Nicole Hilyer, wife of former Thorsby mayor Dearl Hilyer, was unanimously chosen Monday to fill the town’s open council seat.

The seat came open when then-councilmember Jean Nelson was chosen to serve as Thorsby’s mayor after Dearl Hilyer died on Oct. 16.

Dearl Hilyer had just been re-elected to his second term as mayor.

Residents were allowed to submit applications for the position, to be considered by the council. In addition to Nicole Hilyer, other applicants included Jerry Mack Bingham Jr., Willis Britt, Sandy Collins, Tim Henderson, Tara Jewell and Kathy Johnson.

Britt and Jewell served on the council during its last session. Britt was defeated by current councilmember Randall Higgins, and Jewell vacated her seat to run against Dearl Hilyer.

After the council considered the applications, Higgins nominated Nicole Hilyer to fill the open seat. The nomination was seconded by Marvin Crumpton, and all councilmembers present voted in favor. Roger Marcus was absent from Monday’s meeting at the Thorsby Annex.

Crumpton said he was glad to see the interest shown in serving on the council.

“I believe any one of these seven could do the job,” he said. “This is a tough decision to make. I appreciate people’s willingness to serve their town.”

The decision to install Nicole Hilyer came immediately after she and other family members of Dearl Hilyer were presented a resolution in honor of the former mayor by state Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace.

Ward called Dearl Hilyer a “small town mayor with a big heart,” and Wallace said Hilyer “felt like he could make a genuine difference in this town by serving.”

Thorsby School teacher Angie Barnett then addressed the council about installing a street clock in honor of Dearl Hilyer at Helen Jenkins Chapel.

The council voted unanimously to allow Barnett to go ahead with the project.

Barnett told the council that $3,426 had been raised, enough to purchase the clock, and that family members of Dearl Hilyer had picked out the design.

In other business, the council:

•Accepted the resignation of a police officer.

•Re-hired a former officer for the town.

•Changed a shop worker from part-time to full-time.