TALLADEGA -- Members of Talladega’s Historic Preservation Commission had more questions than answers regarding the creation of an ad hoc/advisory committee created by the Talladega City Council on Monday night during the council’s regular meeting.
Monday night, council President Horace Patterson requested the creation of the new committee, which will consist of former HPC members Jimmy Williams and Joe Power, former Mayor and Water and Sewer Board Manager George Montgomery, Kevin Smith, the Rev. Hugh Morris, Phillip Gallaher and city planner Robert Buyher, with other appointments expected in the future.
The new committee is expected to meet Monday from 3 to 5 p.m. at The Historic Ritz Theatre; this will be followed by a called council meeting starting at 5.
David Street serves on both the council and the HPC. He said he had not been made aware of the advisory committee before Monday night’s meeting.
Street said he had asked Patterson some of the same questions board members were asking Thursday and had received a response via interim City Manager Beth Cheeks. The purpose of the committee is to advise the council, according to this missive. The idea for the committee came up “a week or two ago,” and it will be made up of “people of good will who (are) visionary.”
The committee would be appointed by and report back to the council, during public meetings.
The sole item on the agenda for the called council meeting Monday will be “an open discussion of the HPC,” Street said Patterson told him through Cheeks.
After Thursday’s commission meeting, board Chairman Bobby Williams said, on behalf of the body, “We would have appreciated a heads-up. If there are issues with this board out there, Dr. Patterson or the council could have met with us prior to the creation of an advisory board. That just seems like it would have been more businesslike, more professional.”
He added that he had “no idea what they might do. I would like to know exactly what this committee is for, what they are expected to do, what this is all about. It seems like that would have been common courtesy. This just looks an odd move on the council’s part.”
Both meetings at The Ritz on Monday are open to the public.
Also Thursday, the HPC:
Excused Commission member Chuck Roberts, who was absent;
Tabled requests for certificates of appropriateness for buildings at 101 North Court Square and 104/106 East Street N. Both properties are owned by Martha Jordan, who was not present; and
Discussed signage in the historic districts; commission member Josie Whitson said she was waiting on a follow-up with the Alabama Department of Transportation, and said she would also meet with Mayor Jerry Cooper’s Advisory Committee, which is apparently chaired by Jimmy Williams, who was present Thursday. Signage was one of the issues touched on by the mayor’s committee during a presentation Monday.