Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Cherokee Trilogy

Today we're publishing three views of the current situation in Cherokee, with comments as needed.


A Guest Commentary By

A Concerned Citizen

It seems that there is need of some serious investigation as whether or not the Cherokee town meeting Saturday was an emergency and whether or not the Thursday meeting was legal. Were the citizens properly represented? The Government over the Municipalities should be looking into it.

Was the meeting on Thursday properly called? Are the Citizens in Thelma Lambert's District properly represented? I think not, since she refused to participate. Did the Mayor, Chuck Lansdell resign? He did get up from the council table and stated that he was going to sit with the citizens. Could the council legally proceed with voting on any issue at that point? There are many questions that need to be answered. It seems that if the council wanted to continue with the voting on any and all issues then to be fair to all the citizens all issues would have to be brought to a vote of the people. All of this immature nonsense and vindictiveness needs to stop.

It has also been brought to my attention that Ms. Willis refused to take a drug test. My understanding is that she cannot legally give anyone any instructions nor have anything to do with the gas if something arises which occasionally it does. So why has she not been let go from her position over the water board due to her criminal record and insubordination? Where are the officials on this and what are are they going to do? Something needs to be done for the town of Cherokee.

As for the legality of the meeting, Mr. Rosser, the town's attorney, stated that everything was kosher. That could possibly be overruled by the appropriate court if other concerned citizens decided to take issue with his opinion.

As for Ms. Willis, her conviction was in civil court--not criminal. We do not see how a civil ruling would keep her from serving. Her refusal to take a drug test is another matter. All natural gas departments fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The FERC usually requires mandatory initial and periodic drug testing of all employees of natural gas companies. Whether the board would fall under this umbrella or not should not be hard to ascertain.

Here is a link to the FERC website: Link The number is toll free and if anyone is seriously concerned over Ms. Willis' refusal to be drug tested, I would suggest they contact them.



A Guest Commentary By

L.P. - Resident of Cherokee

Well another meeting was held in the little town of Cherokee. The article in the TimesDaily stated that on Friday before the close of business, the Mayor, Chuck Lansdell sent an e-mail to the City Clerk, Melinda Malone, all council members and even the City Attorney with only minutes to spare trying to get some things in to put on the Agenda for this months meeting on Tuesday. It seems he was upset that Melinda Malone did not get her e-mail. Well, Melinda Malone was upset that he accused her of not following orders and/or not opening the e-mail. Melinda Malone stated that they could look at her computer to see if she actually did receive the e-mail in the first place. We do not know if that was actually done.

There are many questions on this one. Cherokee might be behind the times a bit, but there is such thing as a telephone and fax machine. If the clerk’ s office doesn't have one, perhaps we could hold a yard sale to raise the money to purchase one or better yet maybe some will donate one to city hall. All of this miss communication problems could have been avoided if the Mayor would have picked up the phone to make sure his employee, Melinda received it or maybe he could have just faxed it or better yet not waited till the last minute and just took it their in person. It was it meant to get to her at all it sure does seem that it may have been planned to not even get to her at all. Another thing that could have made it easier is that Melinda could have phone the Mayor and asked if he had anything for her to put on the agenda since she had not heard from him all day. Hummm .... Questions, Questions. What kind of answer or comment do the Mayor and Clerk have on this?

And what is this about a law that the town council wants to write about taking away the Mayors authority? Can they do that? If they take away the Mayors authority then would we even need the council as well? The town could just become unincorporated and that would solve that problem all together. Would that be right for this little town. Ask Iron City to see if they like it.

The citizens of Cherokee think that this kind of miscommunication is unacceptable. In other places of business, the employees and bosses communicate much better that this. It is clearly seen that no one wants to communicate in a more appropriate, courteous manner here to properly do their job without all of the chaos. It seems they want to keep all the madness going. Are the citizens going to have to hire a unbiased babysitter to make sure they communicate and act accordingly?

Maybe the citizens need to send a list of people to the higher ups that would gladly take the place of the Mayor and Council and ask the Mayor and council members to be replaced immediately.

This has gone on long enough with the childish vindictive people.

The above letter was sent to us in September; we apologize that it has taken some time to publish it. The main thrust of the commentary is still valid a month later...


Cherokee, City of Brotherly Love?

By J.J. Ray

Where else in North Alabama could you find a city council where a mayor had such an aversion for everyone on that council except for Thelma Lambert. Where else could he be overheard listening to Thelma Lambert trying to get the city clerk Melinda Malone fired? Where else could a sitting mayor openly threaten the City Attorney Daniel Rosser with the loss of his bar license for disagreeing with him? Where else could a mayor try to pick a fight with one of the council members, Councilman Glover? Only in Cherokee Alabama the home of the Hatfields, McCoys and the city council circus.

Just to make things worse I understand that the mayor is going to set up the pillory with its first resident to be Melinda Malone, if the new ordinances are passed by the city council on Thursday. If that is not enough, I understand that Thelma Lambert is an employee of a restaurant. Guess where the rotten vegetables will come from? Look out, Melinda, incoming.

If this sounds ridiculous, that's because it is. A city council is supposed to represent the citizens, as is the mayor. The question is whom does Mayor Lansdell represent? The way he conducts himself reminds me of a spoiled adolescent who does not get his way. He constantly complains about the council trying to usurp his authority. Bless his heart he is having delusions of grandeur. Maybe he thinks that Cherokee is a fiefdom and he is the feudal lord, like Lewd Lawayne in Leighton. What ever he believes he is in fact the elected mayor of Cherokee and he should act that way with some dignity and decorum. Not like a spoiled adolescent. This does not exempt the city council. It takes more than one to pick a fight.

Mr. Mayor I have a news flash for you, “ Respect is something earned, not given.” In order to receive you must earn the respect of the council and citizens. True, the title does deserve respect but the holder still has to earn it. There is nothing wrong with articulating your displeasure with the new ordinances that is the democratic way. To act as you have in the past only diminishes you. You and the council have a responsibility to the citizens of Cherokee. You were sworn in and took that oath of office. Did you have your fingers crossed when you did? That is not a part-time oath and neither is the job or the responsibility that goes with it. The same holds true for the city council whether elected or appointed. Acting like the Hatfields and McCoys bickering amongst yourselves in public does not enhance confidence, rather it breeds contempt.

Being the laughing stock of Alabama is not a great title to have for any city council. That is what it has become “ The Cirque du Cherokee” not to be confused with the “ Cirque du Soleil” of Las Vegas. Moreover, you Mr. Mayor are the ringmaster. Tickets are going fast, avoid the scalpers. Call and reserve your seat for the next performance.


Enjoy a good read? We highly recommend two older novels: The Caine Mutiny and The Toy Sword. These two books couldn't have more diverse settings, but they do have one thing in common. Each of these novels boasts a character that could easily be taken from Lauderdale County politics. If you think these statements comprise a teaser for future couldn't be more right.