09:02 AM. Columbia Mayor Announced Her Resignation As MayorRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 26 2022 9:59 AM
COLUMBIA: 09:02 AM. The Town of Columbia Mayor and Council met in an announced work session on Tuesday night. The council went into an Executive Session.
The Council reconvened the meeeting as per Alabama Law following the Executive Session where it was announced no official action taken. Which no official action could be done in a work session as to a vote anyway.
Following the Executive Session Columbia Mayor Rhonda Freeman announced that she is resigning as Mayor of the Town of Columbia effective this Friday. Freeman‘s announcement was the resignation was based on health issues.
Rhonda Freeman has been a pioneer of emergency services. When I started in 1977 it was not long after that I knew who Rhonda Freeman, Bubba Odom, Jimmy Hicks and others were with Columbia Fire - Rescue.
Rhonda Freeman then worked with the City of Dothan as a 911 Data Systems Specialists. Beginning at the birth of the City of Dothan - Houston County 911 system, it was Rhonda Freeman who mapped addresses in the county giving them the numerical address and entering the data into the 911 data base for proper emergency information and response.
While with the City of Dothan - Houston County 911 Rhonda served as a Town Council Member with the Town of Columbia, her hometown. Upon her retirement from the City of Dothan Freeman continued as a Council Member and became Mayor Pro Tem.
Columbia had a Mayor that was involved in a lot of controversy and questionable circumstances. That Mayor, not a native Columbia resident but someone who had moved into Columbia, resigned and left Columbia. As Mayor Pro Tem the duties of Mayor fell into Rhonda Freeman’s lap.
It was turbulent times when Rhonda Freeman took over as Mayor and she calmed things down and was a steady hand in getting the Town of Columbia focused in the right direction.
Rhonda Freeman has attempted and several factors have affected the Town of Columbia in re-building the facilities to house Columbia Fire - Rescue. Through several stalling factors, which also included personality conflicts, the re-building stalled and now with COVID has caused prices to escalate.
The Columbia Fire - Rescue building was destroyed in the hurricane.
This past election the citizens of Columbia re-elected Rhonda Freeman to serve as Mayor.
This Friday will be the last day for Rhonda Freeman as Mayor. The Mayor Pro Temp, Cas Haddock will assume the duties of Mayor of the Town of Columbia. It is my understanding that Haddock has openly expressed that he does not want to be the Mayor and does not have the time to devote to being Mayor. A council member does not have all the duties of a Mayor.
The Town of Columbia will meet in an official meeting where votes can be taken on Tuesday. It is expected Mayor and the desires of the council will be discussed on Tuesday. The direction and goals are unknown at this time and I have not studied the exact procedures required to fill Mayor.
THANK YOU Rhonda Freeman for your years of service to the citizens of Dothan-Houston County when working with 911. THANK YOU for your volunteer days in the lates 1970’s and early 1980’s volunteering with Columbia Fire - Rescue.
THANK YOU for getting the Town of Columbia re-focused from the prior Mayor Administration where the train jumped off the tracks.
The Town of Columbia is fortunate with a City Clerk, Brinna Duke, who knows the business of the Town of Columbia and has helped Mayor Rhonda Freeman get the business of the Town of Columbia headed in the right direction. So anyone who serves as Mayor has a great lady by their side who knows what is going on and how to keep the train on the tracks.
The Chief of Police, Phillip Killingsworth, serves as Columbia law enforcement, but also is a important part of helping the water department and keeping equipment operational. In small towns no one has one specific duty, they have multiple duties.
There is no conflict which has caused the Mayor’s resignation. It is health related issues of a personal nature.