Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Now That You've Been Fired/Zoning Gone Amok in Florence

Whether you call it "fired," "terminated," or "laid off," it happens to the majority of employees at some point in their lives. Many receive a Reduction in Force (RIF) bonus. Some receive an admonition not to darken the door again unless they want a visit from the police. It seems some Lauderdale County employees recently received something extremely interesting when they were shown the door.

Yes, four full-time and three part-time sheriff's dispatchers recently lost their jobs when their positions were consolidated into the 911 office. We agree this sounds more practical on every level, but we do feel for those who were terminated through no fault of their own. What did they receive?

(Sheriff Ronnie) Willis said each of the dispatchers who lost their jobs were given applications for 911 dispatcher positions.

Pardon the cliche', but isn't that special? Couldn't any of us simply walk into the 911 office or some office associated with the county commission and acquire such an application? Couldn't Sheriff Willis at least have given them a recommendation? Or would that have made it much worse for them in the job market? The best of luck to these seven former county employees.


Several months ago we were discussing rundown areas of Florence with a friend who corrected us on the condition of at least part of East Tuscaloosa Street. He suggested we drive by a block that had been almost totally renovated into homes of value. When we saw what these three homeowners had achieved we were greatly impressed.

Yet recently something happened that devalued much of the work they had done. A corner lot was vacant, and some enterprising landlord decided to build a small bungalow on the property. Lest you think it might be some stylish architecture one would find in a gulf coastal town, think again. The house reeks of cheap.

Most areas of downtown are in mixed zones for building. In other words, one can build a business or apartments next to a single family dwelling. That doesn't mean they should, or at least they shouldn't be able to if it doesn't improve the neighborhood. How can the City of Florence extol the beauty of Walnut Street when it denies that same beauty to a neighboring street?



  1. If you are referring to the home under current construction at the southwest corner of Tuscaloosa and Chestnut Streets, it is my understanding that the builder is not an "enterprising landlord" but instead is Habitat for Humanity. As a homeowner on a nearby street, I am proud to have a vacant lot used by them in my neighborhood.

    1. That is indeed the location, and we're very surprised that something that looks that shoddy is a Habitat home. We know there is extreme poverty out there, but we can hardly imagine what the family who gets it was living in before. We remain sorry for their neighbors on that side of the street who have invested mucho money to restore their classic homes.

  2. So what should the dispatchers have received? If they feel they performed well and wish to list the Sheriff or other county personnel as references they have that option just as anyone else would. The County probably feels for them too.

    1. Probably very few leaving county posts receive anything. It was merely the idea Willis felt he needed to mention he gave them applications for 911 employment that seemed bizarre.

    2. Sounds like disjointed reporting. A TD quote? No need to dig deeper.