Eclectic residents hope new leadership moves town forward

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

ECLECTIC, AL (WSFA) - Jerry Daugherty knows Eclectic like the back of his hand.

"I've been here all my life. I grew up here, I went to school here. My kids went to school here."

But he says the last few months have been difficult for the town.

"This little episode set us back a little bit.  And now we've got to recover, lick our wounds," he says.

The mayor resigned back in August when outraged residents questioned his suggestion to drastically alter the police department.

Since then, several city council members have resigned.

"I stepped down from the council, one, to try and create harmony in the town," says Nick Milner.

Milner was one of them and says there's been a lot of bickering in Eclectic.

"There's been so much of it that it's torn this town apart," says Milner.

One reason both he and Daugherty hope the new administration ignites a new energy here.

"I don't want to dwell in the past. I don't want to think the town's going to do bad. I want the town to prosper," says Milner.

"I want to take the rest of my years and see it progress," says Daugherty.

Governor Riley appointed city council woman Helen Rowe as the new Mayor on Monday.

Her main goal is making Eclectic financially sound again.

It's an idea residents share as long as it's the new leadership's main focus.

"I would like to see new businesses come in here and people put back to work and new jobs come in," says Daugherty.

"We've got to find out a way to become a business friendly town.  We've got to promote this town. We gotta get people in here," says Milner.

The Governor had to appoint Rowe because there weren't enough city council members to legally do it.  Right now there are still two open city council positions.

The Governor will appoint someone to one of them. And then later, the city council will fill the last one.

The mayor is calling all town employees to a meeting Monday morning asking for input and inform them of the town's financial status.

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