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November 1, 2014

Ranburne Town Council member steps down, officials search for replacement

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Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:21 pm | Updated: 6:30 pm, Wed Jul 30, 2014.

Ranburne has a rare opening on its Town Council.

Councilman Ernie Crawford informed Town Clerk Pam Richardson on June 29 that he was moving out of state and would no longer be able to serve, Richardson said.

According to state law, Ranburne’s council has 60 days to appoint a new member, said Lori Lein, general counsel for the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Richardson said resident David Walker talked to the four remaining council members at their July meeting about filling out Crawford’s term. She posted notices this week about the vacancy at City Hall, the Ranburne Senior Center and Ranburne Post Office, she said.

Crawford had been a council member since March 16, 2007, when he was appointed to serve the remainder of Councilman Trevor Kribbs’ term, Richardson said. He ran unopposed in 2008 and 2012.

In fact, Ranburne hasn’t had an election of town officials since 1992, Richardson said. Members have either been appointed or have run unopposed.

Councilman Larry Smith, who was appointed to his seat and has served almost 10 years, said it can be difficult to fill the positions.  

Smith said he would give up his seat on the council if someone else wanted it, but there are very few people who ask. Usually council members have to reach out to the public to fill a vacancy, he said. Smith called Walker to ask him if he would be willing to serve on the council after he heard that Crawford had moved, he said.

“I just feel like he would be a great addition,” Smith said.

Smith said he’d welcome more interest in the seat, though. For instance, he’d like to bring a young person to the table, Smith said. But mostly he’d like someone involved in the community who is looking for growth and change.

“It’s certainly not political,” he said. “I don’t care if they’re Democrat or Republican.”

The Ranburne mayor and council members are not paid for their service, Richardson said.

According to state law, if the council members don’t appoint someone within in the 60 days, the mayor and the council members may each submit a nominee to the governor who then has 30 days to appoint someone. If the governor doesn’t appoint someone within those 30 days, the town will have to hold a special election.

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