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WELCOME MR. and MRS. KEVIN COWPER - Dothan's New City Manager On Board

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
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Date: Apr 29 2019 9:33 PM


WE WELCOME DOTHAN’S NEW CITY MANAGER


MR. and MRS. KEVIN COWPER



DOTHAN:    After 118 days without a full time Dothan City Manager, today, beginning at 12:01 AM Dothan’s new City Manager "officially" assumed the duties of City Manager.


NO, he did not come into work at 12:01 AM, but officially had the power and duties of the City Manager.


Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba and members of the Dothan City Commission appointed in March 2019 Mr. Kevin Cowper, Assistant City Manager of Auburn Alabama as the new Dothan City Manager. Official start date was today.


RECEPTION ON TUESDAY FROM 5 PM TO 7 PM FOR THE 


PUBLIC TO MEET AND GREET MR. AND MRS. KEVIN COWPER


Mr. Cowper will work with retired Dothan City Manager Mike West. The Mayor and Commission have asked West if he would work with Mr. Cowper for 30 days in his transition period. No "official" contract for that 30 days has been entered into in a public meeting.


We have checked Mr. Cowper out and his performance in Auburn Alabama as Assistant City Manager. While we have not met him in person, he has been scoped. And so far good reviews about the quality of individual he is. 


He has some issues to correct within the bowels of City Government of which needs attention.


Some departments are in need of "hands on" management in order to correct them and their mission of service.


Hope Mr. Cowper has (1) the backbone to call the difficult decisions and perhaps words needed to hear within Dothan "your fired or retire" to some. (2) the time to place the magnifying glass on those departments that need changes.


And from our investigation into Mr. Cowper, perhaps he does. He just needs to be careful who he listens to downtown.


RETIRED DOTHAN CITY MANAGER MIKE WEST


West, who was hired as Dothan City Manager under former Dothan Mayor Chester Sowell, served as City Manager under four Mayors and a host of Commissioners.


West was hired after former Dothan Commissioners Jason Rudd and Amos Newsome went to Johnson City observing Mike West. West lasted 14 consecutive years, the longest serving Dothan City Manager ever.


West announced to the Mayor in February 2018 that he would retire December 31, 2018. When the time clicked and West retirement became effective there was no new City Manager named. The Mayor and Commission entered into a contract with Mike West to serve as Acting City Manager from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019. After that appointment Mayor Saliba and the Commission found out West had to be out for at least one pay period before they could appoint him as Acting City Manager.


That was rescinded and a new contract was made that delayed West start day for two weeks. Dothan Utilities Manager Billy Mayes and Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams split the vacancy time. ( Law regarding vacancies in City Manager outlined below. )


So mid January enters Mike West at a lower rate of pay then the previous City Manager.


As March 31, 2019 West contract ended. The Commission again appointed Mayes and Williams as Acting City Manager, splitting the time. Finally the Mayor and Commission made the selection of Kevin Cowper.


That explanation was tiring!


UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF A CITY MANAGER   


The City of Dothan government is described as the weak Mayor/Commission form of government.


The power over all of the some 1,000 employees and operation of the City of Dothan rest solely and squarely on the shoulders of the City Manager.


In fact, without the approval of the City Manager, the Mayor and Commission can not even directly ask an employee of the City of Dothan a question: CODE OF ALABAMA 


"Except for the purpose of inquiry, the commission and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the city manager and neither the commission nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the city manager, either publicly or privately."


CODE OF ALABAMA:   the commission and its members shall deal with the administrative service of the city solely through the city manager, and neither the commission nor any member thereof shall give orders, either publicly or privately, to any employee under the supervision of the city manager, except in emergencies.



So as you can see the position of Dothan City Manager is one that carries a vast amount of power and authority. The Mayor and Commission are extremely limited as to what they can direct and not direct City Staff to do, unless the City Manager approves.


However, a City Manager is always two weeks away from being terminated. And a special meeting can be called within those two weeks. And that termination only takes four votes.


So there is some political control by the Mayor and Commissioners, that is, if they have backbones. Which history shows is rare, but it has been done.


Below not followed by Dothan Mayor and Dothan Commissioners during vacancy


Section 11-44E-99

Vacancies in office of city manager.


In the case of a vacancy in the office of city manager, the commission may appoint an acting city manager who shall possess the powers and duties of the city manager until such time as a new city manager is appointed by the commission. The acting city manager shall be compensated at no less than the level as the preceding city manager.


(Acts 1988, No. 88-445, p. 660, §5.10.)


CLICK FOR CODE OF ALABAMA ON VACANCIES IN OFFICE OF CITY MANAGER



Section 11-44E-45

Interference in appointment or removal of officers and employees; dealings of commission with administrative service.


Neither the commission nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office or position by the city manager or by any of his (her) subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the city with the exception of certain employees as prescribed in Section 11-44E-92(2) of this chapter. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the commission and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the city manager and neither the commission nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the city manager, either publicly or privately.


(Acts 1988, No. 88-445, p. 660, §3.06.)

 


CODE OF ALABAMA


Section 11-44E-92(2)


(2) To direct the affairs of all department heads and to appoint and, when necessary for the good of the service, discipline, and remove all heads of departments, or other employees appointed by the city manager. Said appointments and removal shall be done only upon the recommendation of the city manager and subsequent approval by the commission. All such appointments shall be made upon merit and fitness alone. The city manager may, without notice, cause the affairs of any department head or employee to be examined. All appointments, removals, or suspensions shall be subject to regulations, authority, and provisions of any civil service act or merit system act relating to such city.


CLICK FOR CODE OF ALABAMA



Section 11-44E-93


Noninterference by mayor or commission with certain duties of city manager; dealings with administrative service.



Neither the mayor, commission nor any of its members shall direct the employment or removal of any person by the city manager or by any of his (her) subordinates in the administrative service of the city. Appointments or removals of employees not subject to a civil service or merit act will be done in conformity with Section 11-44E-92(2). Except for the purposes of inquiry and investigation held in a manner firmly established by resolution or ordinance in advance of such inquiry and investigation, the commission and its members shall deal with the administrative service of the city solely through the city manager, and neither the commission nor any member thereof shall give orders, either publicly or privately, to any employee under the supervision of the city manager, except in emergencies.



(Acts 1988, No. 88-445, p. 660, §5.04.)


CLICK FOR CODE OF ALABAMA



CLICK FOR CODE OF ALABAMA ON POWERS AND DUTIES OF CITY MANAGER


Powers and duties of city manager.



The city manager shall be the administrative head of the city. He (She) shall devote all his (her) working time and attention to the affairs of the city and shall be responsible to the commission for the efficient administration of all the affairs of the city over which he (she) has jurisdiction. He (She) shall have the power and it shall be his (her) duty:



(1) To administer the policies of the commission, the code of ordinances of the city, and state and federal laws pertaining to the city as provided herein. For the purpose of said administration, the commission does hereby authorize and direct the city manager to see that all duties and authority conferred upon it by law, all city ordinances, resolutions, policies, and directives are carried out, and any and all his (her) acts shall be for and in the name of the city and/or the commission; provided, however, there is hereby excepted and excluded those duties and authority given by the commission, state, and federal laws to other boards, agencies, and officials.



(2) To direct the affairs of all department heads and to appoint and, when necessary for the good of the service, discipline, and remove all heads of departments, or other employees appointed by the city manager. Said appointments and removal shall be done only upon the recommendation of the city manager and subsequent approval by the commission. All such appointments shall be made upon merit and fitness alone. The city manager may, without notice, cause the affairs of any department head or employee to be examined. All appointments, removals, or suspensions shall be subject to regulations, authority, and provisions of any civil service act or merit system act relating to such city.



(3) To exercise control over all departments under his (her) supervision now in existence or that may hereinafter be created by the commission.



(4) To recommend to the commission the creating, consolidating, and combining of offices, positions or departments of the administrative and operational departments of the city.



(5) To plan, organize, and supervise the operations of the city’s various department heads so as to promote harmony, economy, efficiency, and cooperation among the departments and with the other agencies, commissions, and committees as hereinabove set forth.



(6) To investigate all complaints in relation to matters concerning the administration and operation of the city government and services maintained by the public utilities of the city.



(7) To see that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the city or its inhabitants in any public utility franchise are faithfully kept and performed and, upon the knowledge of any violation thereof, to call the same to the attention of the commission.



(8) The city manager, or an officer appointed by him (her), shall be the purchasing agent for the city for purchases for departments under his (her) control.



(9) To attend all meetings of the commission with the right to take part in the discussions but having no vote. The city manager shall be entitled to notice of all special meetings.



(10) To keep the commission fully advised at all times as to the financial condition and needs of the city.



(11) To prepare, or cause to be prepared, each year, an operations budget and supplemental budget as provided in Article 6 of this chapter.



(12) To cause to be prepared and presented to the commission semiannually a statement showing the exact financial condition of the city as of the end of the preceding quarter and showing amounts appropriated, amounts expended, and unexpended balance of the items of appropriation.



(13) To recommend to the commission adoption of such measures as he (she) may deem necessary or expedient.



(14) To insure that proper accounting procedures are established and followed.



(15) To seek to improve the relationship between the city government and the public by the formulation of an adequate program which shall include personnel training as well as public relations.



(16) To perform such other lawful duties as may be required by resolution or ordinance of the commission.



(17) To assure that each administrative unit of the municipality develops written operating procedures for that unit.



(Acts 1988, No. 88-445, p. 660, §5.03.)

Section 11-44E-91

Appointment of city manager; qualifications; residence; noneligibility of elected officials.


The city manager shall be appointed by a majority vote of the commission. He (She) shall be chosen without regard to political beliefs and solely upon the basis of his (her) executive and administrative qualifications, with special recognition to his (her) actual experience in, or knowledge of, the duties of his office as defined by this chapter. The choice shall not be limited to inhabitants of the city or the State of Alabama, but once appointed to the office, the city manager shall reside within the city. No elected official of the city shall be appointed to the position of city manager during the term for which he (she) shall have been elected nor within one year after the expiration of such term.


(Acts 1988, No. 88-445, p. 660, §5.02.)

CODE OF ALABAMA ON APPOINTMENT OF CITY MANAGER



 




WELCOME MR. and MRS. KEVIN COWPER - Dothan's New City Manager On Board

First Funeral

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