MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)-It looks as though Former Mobile Mayor Sam Jones will be nominated to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Board.
Late Friday afternoon, two Mobile City Council Members, Gina Gregory and Joel Daves, told Fox 10 News they changed their minds after Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced at a morning news conference he fully supports Jones’s appointment to the board.
MAYOR’S NEWS CONFERENCE
At the news conference, Mayor Stimpson said there’s a rift in the Mobile City Council that could undermine all efforts to build a better Mobile.
The good news, he said, is that it can be repaired.
Stimpson said, “It starts with a single step, and that is approving the appointment of Sam Jones to the Mobile Sewer and Water Board. Today, I call on the city council to take that step.”
Stimpson said he believes Jones is qualified for the position.
The mayor said, “If he’s willing to serve, he can help unite our city, and his nomination should be approved.”
FORUM TO BE HELD ON RACE ISSUES
Mayor Stimpson also announced he’s inviting former Mayor Jones to stand with him before citizens and lead a conversation on how to unify the city.
Stimpson said, ‘I’m planning to host a community forum to address the race issues in Mobile. I want it to be an honest conversation about how we can move forward together.”
Stimpson said it’s scheduled for June 11th at the History Museum of Mobile.
The mayor was asked if he thought the Jones’ controversy was racial.
He said, “I do not believe that the issue, to begin with, was racial, but, it has evolved into what the perception is, and, if that’s the direction its going in, sometimes perception is reality, but, I do not believe that’s what started the problem.”
OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS
City Council Member Bess Rich said she will continue to oppose Jones nomination.
Council Member John Williams said he will reflect on the matter this weekend.
Five council votes are needed to approve the nomination.
Council Member Fred Richardson, C.J. Small, and Levon Manzie all supported Sam Jones’ nomination to the water board.