Fairhope council to discuss mayoral salary changes


During council comments at the March 26 Fairhope City Council meeting, Councilman Jimmy Conyers asked the council to consider possible changes to the city’s mayoral salary.

Conyers said the city needed to have the discussion about possible salary changes and what the city’s expectations are for the office, including the possibility of hiring a city administrator or a city manager.

“I think it would be best if we have all of that ironed out well in advance of running for office so it isn’t a political issue,” Conyers said.

Conyers said he would like to see the discussion possibly come up at a work session some time soon.

“Maybe everyone should take a month or so to think about what they see that becoming,” Conyers said. “What does Fairhope want in that position and what is expected?”

Conyers said if a full-time mayoral position is expected, some changes may be needed.

“If a full-time mayor is expected, the current salary is not equivalent to what a full-time mayor should be making,” Conyers said.

Council President Jack Burrell brought up an idea for discussion involving theTriangle property, located along Veterans Drive and Highway 104 - a 36-acre parcel purchased as a result of a 2013 lawsuit settlement that saw the city purchase 108 acres for $8.75 million.

Burrell said he would like to see the property moved into a possible conservation easement.

“I think it’s time to start moving the ball on that conservation easement,” Burrell said. “I would like to invite the entire council, staff and mayor to hopefully get on board with that easement.”

Burrell said such an easement would help protect green space in an area that he thinks is vital to the city.

“Green space is a hot commodity right now,” Burrell said. “People in the future are going to be longing for green space, and I think we need to preserve that area.”

Burrell said he could envision possible walking trails and other amenities as a part of that area.

Councilman Kevin Boone said he liked the idea.

“I’ve talked to several people, and this needs to be kept a park area,” Boone said. “I think it’s a terrific idea.”

Burrell said the conservation easement could also help protect the integrity of Fly Creek.

“I think it’s a win-win situation,” Burrell said. “I don’t think history would treat us too kindly if we didn’t protect this land.”