Opelika city council, Mayor Fuller open to the idea of term limits for city board appointees

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by Cliff McCollum
News Editor 

During a discussion about several city board reappointments and vacancies at the Opelika City Council’s pre-meeting work session Tuesday, city council president Eddie Smith said the council, along with Mayor Gary Fuller and city administrator John Seymour, would be seeking to set term limits for the citizens on those boards.

Smith said he and other city officials thought that a two-term limit on city board appointments would allow for more younger citizens and new ideas for the various boards.

“We’ve got a lot of young people who are willing to step up and want to serve on these boards,” Smith said, “and it’s time they had the opportunity to act. This is why we have organizations like 20 Under 40, to allow our younger citizens to gain the leadership skills necessary to become productive, hard-working members of these boards.”

Smith said that, if the term limits passed, citizens currently serving on the boards would be allowed to complete their current term and serve two more after the current one.

Some city board members have served in their positions since the late 1970s and early 1980s. Smith said that the city is thankful for these citizens’ years of faithful service, but that he and other city officials felt it was time to let a new generation start to step up and lead.

“These folks have helped guide and build our city to where it is now,” Smith said, “but it is time to start to let the next generation blaze a new trail and help further advance our town.”

The city council also:

– Entered into a development agreement with King Honda for a new auto sales facility to be built at the intersection of Pepperell Parkway and Highway 280.

– Amended the agreement between the city and Eastwynn Theatres for the new movie theatre planned for TigerTown.

– Awarded special appropriations to the J.W. Darden Foundation and the Arts Association of East Alabama.

– Agreed to two contracts with Dudley Land Company for timber harvesting at the Spring Villa and Landfill Tracts.

– Consented to an almost $2 million bid for advance metering infrastructure for Opelika Power Services to Tantalus Systems, Inc.

– Approved a lease agreement with the Opelika Housing Authority for a public parking lot near Avenue A in downtown Opelika.

– Okayed outsourcing underground facilities locating and marking services to USIC Locating Services, Inc.

– Authorized $2,923 to Ellis-Harper Advertising for professional services to OPS.

– Unanimously approved an expense report for Eddie Smith regarding the National League of Cities conference set for March.

– Made a repayment of $20,842.63 to the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would later be returned to the city’s HUD funds for the current fiscal year.

– Voted to increase the purchase order to Volkert, Inc., for its engineering services on the Frederick Road widening project.

– Recognized Jeff Hart of the Planning department with an employee performance award for his help and advice as a master plumber with the city’s planned health and wellness clinic.

– Updated the Opelika Fire Department’s validation selection process procedures.

– Passed a resolution authorizing OPS to provide telecommunications services within the city with its new cable, internet and phone project.

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