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Earle mayor tries to shut down City Hall


Earle mayor tries to shut down City Hall

Jones continues to spar with council, residents

No more hanging around after city council meetings.

That’s the latest edict by Earle Mayor Carolyn Jones.

Jones ordered police officers to clear the city annex after Tuesday’s city council meeting had adjourned.

“I’m doing what I was asked by the Mayor,” Capt. Fitzgerald Couch told the crowd, mostly members of the city council who were still congregating after the meeting ended.

The edict by the mayor was met with howls of protest and defiance however.

“She can not just make up laws,” Councilman Donnie Cheers told Couch.

Cheers got into a heated exchange with Jones who was standing outside.

“Don’t you just walk off,” a heated Cheers said.

“This has got to stop,” added Councilman Robert Malone.

Jones could be seen after the meeting waiting across the street in the parking lot as the drama unfolded.

This is not the first time Jones has tried to use the police department to enforce her will.

At the February meeting, Jones had then chief of police Mary Fowler attempt to force all men to remove their hats during the meeting despite it being a public meeting and a public building and no rule in place requiring that they do so.

Last year, Jones decreed that all visitors to city hall had to sign in and state their business for being at City Hall.

Jones also attempted to have Couch silence Councilman Kenneth Cross who was asking questions about the street department.

“This is my meeting,” Jones said.

“No, it’s not,” Cross said. “This is a public meeting. And I have a right to ask questions.”

“I’m the facilitator of this meeting,” Jones shot back.

Jones also tangled with City Clerk Cynthia Conner during the meeting after she expressed concerns that Jones was authorizing money to be spent without turning in a purchase order so she had a record of the transaction.

Jones authorized buying new tires for the city’s police cars which she claimed were bald and posed a safety threat to the city’s police officers. She also authorized Street Department supervisor Lee Johnson to have the city’s bush hog fixed.

When asked by Conner how much the bill was for, Johnson said he did not know, but had the mayor’s OK to get it fixed.

Jones made it clear during the meeting that the orders are to get the city’s equipment


“If it needs done, I’m going to say do it,” Jones said.

Jones then attacked Conner claiming she spent money on a new desk for herself last year that wasn’t needed, and said it wasn’t the first time the city had money troubles. Jones said the real problem is that the council isn’t willing to work with her and is blaming her for years of neglect. “I didn’t even want that desk,” Conner said. “She took the desk from the lobby.”

Jones also insulted Councilwoman Jimmie Barham after she expressed concern that the city “was bleeding money.”

“There is a big leak,” Barham said. “We’re spending money out of order. These bills show us there is money being spent that she (Conner) doesn’t know about.”

Jones said it is not the first time the city has had to dip into one of its certificates of deposit to pay the bills.

“That’s right, you were asleep at those meetings,” Jones said to Barham.

Jones has accused Barham in recent meetings of not doing anything to alleviate bad roads and flooding in Apollo Acres.

Barham said she did not hear Jones’s comment at the meeting, but dismissed them.

“I do a lot of things,” Barham said. “But I don’t sleep on the job.”

“She is a disgrace,” said one resident after the meeting.

By Mark Randall

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