Friday, November 6, 2009

Andy Betterton & Rhea Fulmer - Biased or Not on Tourism Pick?

Would Jan Ingle (pictured) make a dynamic addition to the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board? We think she would, but the 1985 graduate of the University of North Alabama may never get the chance.

It seems the Lauderdale County Commission and Florence City Council are still fighting over the nominee after all these weeks. Commissioner Rhea Tays Fulmer has attended Florence Council meetings, and Council President James Barnhardt has attended Lauderdale Commission meetings. At this rate, each side should charge admission.

Fulmer has been quoted as opposing Bill Hunt, the Lauderdale County Commission nominee, but sources say she also has reason to oppose Jan Ingle, a friend and supporter of William Smith, a one-time political opponent of Fulmer.

Similarly, Andy Betterton, a Florence Council member who has now been appointed to a joint committee effort to solve the dispute, works with Ingle at SBS Electric in Florence. Just how impartial could anyone expect Betterton to be?

News reports indicate at least seven others also applied for the upcoming opening. While it's a loss to the Tourism Board not to utilize Jan Ingle, perhaps an unbiased compromise is the only fair option left. Let's put aside our personal likes and dislikes and get on with it.

Photo courtesy of UNA Alumni Association

What's up with this: It seems Central Fire Chief Terry Lovelace has issued a press release stating Jay Gibson of the Central Department acted alone when he filed a complaint against off-duty Lauderdale Deputy Ronnie Valentine's actions during an October 4 chase that resulted in a serious accident. Why the need for that statement, Chief Lovelace?