RANBURNE — The town of Ranburne has a new mayor. And like the previous one, his surname is Smith.
The town council appointed Chuck Smith, 61, in a unanimous vote Monday night to replace Jim Smith who was forced out of office last month because he had failed to attend any council meetings for 90 consecutive days. The two are not related.
Smith, a familiar face on the council, has served as mayor pro tem since 1992, which is also the last year Ranburne held municipal elections. Since 1992, candidates for office have either run unopposed or have been appointed by the council.
Councilman Trevor Kribbs nominated Smith and once the vote was taken, applause was heard from the 20 or so people in attendance.
“First of all Chuck’s a great friend and a wonderful neighbor...I think I speak for the city council as a whole that his mindset is to move the town forward in the most positive way that he can. He’s got my 100 percent support,” Kribbs said.
Smith was sworn in by Ranburne Municipal Judge Allison Miller after the vote was taken by the council. Smith’s wife, Sheryl Smith, held a Bible as Miller administered the oath of office.
After the meeting Smith said that he wants to move the town forward and do good things.
Ranburne resident Drucilla Grizzard, 80, said Smith will make a great mayor.
“He’s been on the council since, forever, he was on the council when my husband was mayor,” Grizzard said.
The council heard from Ranburne Police Chief Steve Tucker, who said that the department has one of the two new Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicles. The department will take possession of the second one on Friday.
The two new fully equipped police vehicles are funded by the one-half cent sales tax which the council passed earlier this year. The council voted unanimously to donate the two old police vehicles, which are now surplus, to the Bowdon, Ga., Police Department.
Tucker was pleased to get the new vehicles, given that one of the old patrol vehicles needs a new transmission.
The council also talked about problems residents are having with stray dogs. Kribbs said that a resident recently had damage to a vehicle which was caused by three dogs.
The town has no leash law, dog catcher or dog pound to accommodate stray dogs, according to Kribbs.
Kribbs said he is going to consult with Shane Smith, Heflin’s city clerk, to see how the city of Heflin deals with their dog problem.
According to Ranburne City Clerk Pamela Thompson, town offices will be closed on July 4-5 for the holiday.