SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Silverhill Town Council voted, almost unanimously, on Monday, May 6 to appoint Mayor Pro-Tem Jared Lyles as mayor following the resignation of Tim Wilson as mayor in April.
At its meeting April 15, Wilson read a prepared letter announcing his resignation as mayor. According to the letter, which was included in the April 15 minutes as part of the May 6 agenda packet, Wilson served as a council member for 15 years, the last 12 as mayor.
“It is time for me to start a new chapter in my life with my wife and family,” according to Wilson’s letter. “I would like to say thank you to my wife and family, thank you to the town employees, council, the volunteers and the citizens for all the support that each of you have shown me through the years.”
Wilson was in the middle of his third full term as mayor after narrowly defeating former council member Shirley Stephens in the 2016 election.
A life-long resident of Silverhill, Wilson served as mayor pro-tem before being appointed to fill the vacant mayoral seat in 2007. He was elected to his first full term as mayor in 2008, retaining his seat unopposed in 2012.
Lyles, a local attorney, was appointed as mayor pro-tem when Wilson was appointed mayor in 2007. He will fill the mayor’s seat through the current term, which ends in November 2020.
Joshua Myrick with Stankoski Myrick LLC, the law firm that represents the town in legal matters, said according to state statutes, the mayor would have to be appointed through a nomination process by the council, with each council member then vocally expressing their vote for the position.
Council member Wayne Gruenloh nominated Lyles and, with no other nominations expressed, a unanimous vote was made to close the nominations.
Each council members was then asked to vote with all council members voting for Lyles, except for Tonie Norden, who abstained from voting.
“I just want to make sure we’re doing this the right way,” Norden said. During the council’s work session Norden said she felt the town’s ordinance presented some conflicting information as to the process, particularly whether the nomination has to come from the council or if nominations can also come from the public.
Moving forward, Myrick said the council would need to appoint someone to fill the vacant council seat and appoint someone from the council as mayor pro-tem. This will likely occur during the council’s next meeting on Monday, May 20.
“As far as I can see, you will need to follow the same procedure to fill the vacant seat,” Myrick said. “If that changes, I will let you know.”
In other business May 6, the council voted unanimously to advertise to fill the position of police chief as a permanent, part-time position.
Sgt. John Branscomb was appointed as interim chief following the resignation of Michael Taylor on March 4.
Branscomb is currently the town’s only certified School Resource Officer and the town has been advertising for that position over the last few months. Branscomb said May 6 that he had two applications for the SRO position and was considering one of them.
The town currently has four full-time officers and four-part-time officers.
Sgt. Daniel Boutwell also performs duties as an SRO for the town, but has not yet received certification. Training for the SRO program in Baldwin County is only conducted during the summer and Boutwell is expected to complete his training by the time school starts in August.
“Let’s just see what we get so that we can move forward from there,” Lyles said.
Also on May 6, the council voted unanimously to approve liability insurance with Blackmon/AMIC; and approved the purchase of two Carrier Bryant air conditioners with Urgent Air at a total cost of $13,905.