RUSSELLVILLE -- The town council is no closer to making a decision on the hiring of a deputy-clerk treasurer following its meeting Wednesday. Under Ordinance 2009-2, Russellville is looking to hire Linda Blocker as its deputy-clerk for when its Clerk-Treasurer Sally McAfee is ill or on vacation.
Devon Davis, a Russellville resident, showed some concern regarding the hiring of Blocker at last month's town council meeting. She was present Wednesday to address the council regarding those concerns.
Davis said she felt it was not necessary for the town to have a deputy-clerk because the "duties don't warrant a replacement for a week or two of vacation." She also said in the event McAfee is ill, someone within the community should fill the position.
The hiring of a deputy-clerk, she continued, would "create a drain on the town for two people to do the same job."
Davis claimed Blocker would be paid more than most town employees, including the council members.
Town council president Don Reddish said, "The salary is up to us to keep a rein on." He also noted the clerk-treasurer has the right to ask for a deputy-clerk.
Following Davis' speech, Reddish commended on her research and the information she presented. He asked Davis to make that information available to town attorney Jim Ensley, who was present at the meeting.
In addition to Davis' concerns with the hiring of Blocker, she discussed a conflict of interest between two town employees -- McAfee and her husband Jim, who was hired last month as the street superintendent and assistant at the water plant.
Davis alleges the council violated the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission law when Jim received his positions with the town.
"There were no other applications taken and the job was not posted," she said.
In the end Reddish said, "We will take the matter seriously and turn it over to our attorney to find out if any laws have been violated."
Ensley agreed he would look into it and get an answer as soon as he could.
In other business:
* Big Mike's Restaurant will celebrate its grand opening Sunday. Reddish encouraged everyone to support Big Mike.
* Town clean up day has been scheduled for Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Russellville Community Center. Refrigerators, appliances, tires and hazardous items will not be accepted.
* An all-you-can-eat Jonah Fish Fry will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Russellville Community Center.
The menu includes fish, French fries, baked beans, coleslaw or applesauce, bread and butter and tea, lemonade or coffee.
Tickets can be purchased for $7 before the event or for $8 at the door. Children ages 10 and younger will be $5. Prices do not include dessert.
Tickets are available at Tri-County Bank and Trust, by calling Deanna at Co-Alliance at 435-2252 or during regular business hours at the water department, located at town hall.
* Town council members will meet with a professional grant writer Aug. 24. Discussions will include what type of money is available for downtown projects such as sidewalks and street repair.
"It will not be a public meeting," Reddish noted.