RANBURNE The Ranburne Town Council discussed the opening that now exists on the governing body following the recent death of longtime Councilman Benjamin Thomas “Tommy” Jones.

After the meeting Tuesday night, Ranburne Mayor Jim Smith reflected on his fellow public servant.

“I’ve been knowing Tommy ever since I came to Ranburne in probably 1990. We were members of the same church and I know he was on the council since the late ’90s, or early ’90’s,” Smith said.

“Tommy was a peacemaker — he could bring two sides together and they would agree with him and no one would be mad at him afterwards — he was good at that,” Smith said.

Smith said it was up to the council to find someone they want to fill the vacancy — if not, the vacancy can remain until the next election.

“We can fill it like we filled the last two by vote of the council,” Smith said.

During other business, the council unanimously voted to move its meetings to the fourth Monday of each month instead of the third Monday. The explanation given for the change is that municipal court is held on the third Monday and there have been instances when court lasted longer than anticipated and the council meetings had to be delayed.

The change will mean that the next council meeting will be on March 26.

Ranburne police Chief Steve Tucker said he will be out of town next week until Thursday, explaining that he has to take some classes in Montgomery related to his duties as chief. Tucker said he would contact the Sheriff’s Office so they can answer any calls and the Alabama State Troopers to work wrecks while he is gone.

The town is using new software, QuickBooks, to process employees’ payroll checks. Smith said that previous town clerks did not send in the correct Social Security and taxes and those amounts had to be sent to the state.

“For the first time they are getting a printed-out check stub — they’ve never had one before — printed check stub with a total, their salary up to date and everything. It’s a great improvement from what it used to be,” Smith said.

Staff writer and photographer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter: @BWilson_Star