By Rebekah Martin
Councilman Larry Gray attended his final Opelika City Council meeting last Tuesday night in his official capacity as representative of Ward 2. Gray was first elected to the council in 2008 and reelected in 2012, serving a total of eight years. Before concluding last week’s meeting, President Eddie Smith read a proclamation in Gray’s honor and he was met with a standing ovation by his fellow council members and those in attendance.
Gray thanked his colleagues and constituents for their support. “There are awards, and there are rewards. This is a great award, and it means a lot to me. I’ve had plenty of awards before, but I’ve never, ever had a reward like being with Ward 2 for eight years,” Gray said. “I’m going to carry that reward with me for the rest of my days on this earth. Thank you very much Ward 2, thank you very much [to the] city of Opelika and my colleagues. Thank you so, so much.”
The Opelika City Council also passed a resolution last Tuesday approving the purchase of Vista HD Wi-Fi body cameras for the Opelika Police Department. According to Capt. Shane Healey, the purchase will benefit the department. “It will be a great addition [to the OPD,] it will be another perspective for our officers on the street to add to what we already have,” Healey said. Each patrol officer will have their own body camera.
In other business, the council:
-approved weed abatement assessments for seven properties located at 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106 and 108 Cottage Ct.
-approved annual appropriations contracts with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Keep Opelika Beautiful, Inc. and the Arts Association of East Alabama.
-Designated a portion of Larry Gray’s reserve funds for Ward 2 to go toward the installation of three historic markers at Jeter School, Bandy Park and Bethesda Baptist Church. President Eddie Smith thanked Gray for choosing the historic locations. “I would like to point out that he had $10,000 more he could have spent, but being the generous, kind and considerate man that he is, he left it for Tiffany and the next four years, for her to have some discretionary money, so thank you for that as well,” Smith said.
-reappointed Gary Fuller and Dozier Smith T to the Airport Advisory Board with terms expiring Nov. 2, 2020.
-appointed Tiffany Gibson-Pitts to the Alabama Council on Human Relations with a term expiring Nov. 2, 2020.
-reappointed Patsy Jones, Eddie Smith and Joey Motley to the Public Works Board of Appeals with terms expiring Nov. 2, 2020.
-reappointed Gary Fuller and David Canon to the Lee-Russell Council of Governments Executive Board and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Reappointed Raven Harvis and Leanadous Summers of the Lee-Russell Council of Governments-MPO Citizen Advisory Committee with terms expiring Nov. 8, 2018.
-reappointed David Canon to the Opelika Planning Commission with a term expiring Nov. 2, 2020.
-reappointed Patsy Jones to the Opelika Utility Board with a term expiring May 4, 2020.
-reappointed Gary Fuller to the Opelika Solid Waste Disposal Authority with a term expiring Nov. 2, 2020.