During the recent Scottsboro City Council meeting, council members  approved  the award for container  and roll off bids at the Solid Waste Department; council members also approved the adjustment of wrecker rates to the ALEA state towing fees.

A motion to approve the change  order and Budget Amendment for the Downtown Square Streetscape Phase II Project died after not receiving a second. Council member Gary Stewart made the motion. The City’s portion of this project would  have increased by $26,000 if the motion had been approved.
Daniel with CDG Engineering, the long term engineering company for the Scottsboro Landfill spoke to council members. CDG was approved as the Solid Waste Engineers on October 23, 2006. Their contract remains effective until replaced by the Solid Waste Disposal Authority.  Daniel stated that in 2006, they developed an alternative to the closure of the landfill. Since then they have worked on a number of projects, including the gas energy project, permitting  and other tasks such as permitting and grants for the rubberized walking trail  at the City Park. CDG requested that they be allowed to move forward with the permitting project for the landfill, which is due in July. CDG stated that they have assisted with maintaining compliance for the landfill and that conversations have been had with Eddie [Blizzard] throughout the  fiscal year.  Council member Keith Smith stated that prior to using CDG the  City was paying $6,000 per month for engineering. CDG defines a scope of work and works within the budget for the fiscal year, which is $25,000. No additional charges are added.  
Scottsboro Public Works Director Eddie Blizzard appeared and spoke to the council regarding the landfill as well.  Blizzard stated that CDG has never charged for anything other than projects requested by him and approved by the council. Blizzard continued to praise the work done by CDG to bring the landfill up to compliance. Blizzard explained that there are areas of expertise that are required for all permitting and that CDG has all of those required areas of expertise.
Blizzard has been on medical leave for several weeks. Following the meeting, during the reports portion, Smith called for Blizzard to be allowed to return to work. Smith stated, We’ve talked about this landfill and we’ve listened to it, we have the best people as our engineers, we have the best people running it and we have the best employees. So, what I would like to ask is that the Director over our landfill, Eddie Blizzard, be returned to work by the Mayor and his [Blizzard’s] doctor. Many don’t know, after some things happened here, he went to a conference and got sick. The doctor put him in the hospital and put him on sick leave from the City of Scottsboro. At this point, Eddie is better but his doctor will not release him to come back to work until he can guarantee that he is not coming back to work under a hostile work environment. So, I’m asking the mayor if he would to bring Eddie back, and to assure him and his doctor, that he not be subjected to hostile work conditions. Some things have happened, would you do that?”
   Mayor Robin Shelton responded, “I’m not going to comment on personnel matters. I think his and any employee’s sick time is between them and the HR department and their doctor.”
Smith continued, “I would like to go ahead and finish. Several weeks ago, we were at a council meeting. During that afternoon it came to my attention that a [mowing] contract was coming up and that it had been changed. So, when I walked in Eddie was sitting there. I asked him and he said he understood a contract was about to be let. After the council meeting, I asked, Mr. Mayor, can you tell me about the contract where we mow part and where they mow part. The mayor said we are letting a bid next Friday. I stated that I understood that you may have changed some of the things and I wanted to know. You told me ‘We will have to wait and see what the bid says.’ So I let it go at that time. Eddie Blizzard stood back there and shook hands as he always does. You went out the back. You left and he left. As I came outside I saw a scuffle across the street. As it turns out, you thought Mr. Blizzard had told me about this contract. Mr. Blizzard didn’t have a thing in the world to do with this contract. Someone else did. It’s not a big deal anyway. So, some say you jumped the curb, some say you didn’t, and you cursed Mr. Blizzard three times. He did nothing. He did not one thing. It escalated and got kind of rough and it calmed down. Shortly thereafter, he got sick. Shortly thereafter is when he went on sick leave. But, before that (going on sick leave) you called him in, you had the police chief in your office, you had the HR director in your office and you called Mr. Blizzard in and you reprimanded him for conduct unbecoming of a department head or something to that degree. A verbal warning, yet it was written. The bottom line is, the man did nothing. You attacked him and now he’s the one having difficulties in life. I don’t know why you can’t bring him back to work to do the job he is getting paid to do and knows to do better than anybody in this world, and all those people you’re sending up there don’t know how to do. I don’t want to see this city go down the tubes. In a short time, we’re going to have to build a new cell up there [landfill]. We can’t afford to hire, Dick, Tom and Harry to come up here and do this work when we’ve got people who know how to do it. We don’t need this group of people sitting all the way across screwing it up.”
There was no further comment on the issue.
Council President Pro Tem Patrick Stewart announced that a Solid Waste Authority meeting would be held after the council meeting on Monday, July 2, past The Clarion’s press deadline.
Members of the Solid Waste Authority were expected to discuss the engineering contract for the landfill, currently held with CDG. The Clarion was informed last week that another engineering company has been hired without the Solid Waste Authority or Council approval.
Editors note: The Annual Solid Waste Disposal Authority meeting was held. The meeting began with City Attorney Stephen Kennamer stating that the Authority is made up by the Mayor of the City, the City Council and the City Clerk. Any action taken by the Authority requires four votes. "Anything to be changed requires a vote. Anything to be left alone, you don't have to take any action on it.", said Kennamer. Wallingsford asked if there were any motions for any changes to any present policy. Smith questioned, " If we leave it alone, is there any way that someone else can come along and change it like what almost happened a week or two ago?" Wallingsford stated, " No one has the authority to make any changes to anything other than the Solid Waste Disposal Authority." Kennamer agreed. The meeting was adjourned.

               

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