MOBILE, Ala. – What might normally be a routine appointment to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System board turned controversial at Tuesday’s city council meeting. That’s because some of the council members objected to the person being nominated.
It could have been former Mobile Mayor Sam Jones next venture into public service, but it was cut short when three city council members decided he wasn’t the man for the job.
Levones Dubose Fischer’s six year term on the MAWSS board came to an end two weeks ago. Mobile City Council Member Fred Richardson decided to nominate former Mayor Sam Jones for the post, but before the appointment came up for a vote at least one council member voiced his opposition.
Tuesday Richardson went to bat for Jones.
“I’m not trying to put Jesse James on the board now, and I’m not trying to put his brother Frank on the board. But Samuel L Jones is the person of my choice to represent my office and the people of District One.
When he was done Bess Rich went on record as to why she planned to vote no.
“I’m now finding out, although I had often asked questions regarding our cities fiscal state of affairs at the time Mayor Jones presented his 2014 budget that I truly feel he should have disclosed.”
When it was over Rich, was joined by Joel Daves, and John Williams to defeat the nomination.
It’s uncertain right now who will fill the seat on the water board. Richardson said he’ll come up with another nomination, and he said he won’t forget his colleagues who voted against his nominee.
“It’s always someone in these minority districts, and I’m saying you can’t sit yourself up as a god, or guardian on these districts. You have no more power or authority than me, and what I need to do to stop this I don’t know, but it will be stopped.”
So Jones did not get the five votes required for approval. MAWSSS officials say each council member gets to appoint a board member for their district. We were told it’s rare for a nominee not be accepted. but for now the water board will continue to function one member short until someone is appointed.