Stimpson Defends Make-Up, Residency of Administration Choices

Stimpson Defends Make-Up, Residency of Administration Choices

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Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s not the only new face at City Hall. The new mayor has put together a whole new leadership team.

Some say, though, the new team doesn’t accurately represent the city and there’s little evidence of the “One Mobile” Stimpson promised during his campaign.

Stimpson has already changed six top positions.

Chief of Staff AL Stokes was replaced with Colby Cooper.

Police Chief Micheal T. Williams was replaced with James Barber

Long-time Fire Chief Stephen Dean has given way to Randy Smith.

Finance Director Barbara Malkove is out. Paul Wesch is in.

Public Affairs Director Barbara Drummond has been replaced with George Talbot.

And City Attorney Larry Wettermark is gone. Ricardo Woods takes his role.

The old group included three blacks and two women.

Stimpson’s new administration is all men, and only one African-American.

“My only comment is we’re not through yet,” said Stimpson. “You know, the pie’s about half-baked, don’t start tasting it.”

One change to come might be longtime Public Works Director John Bell who’s in the unusual position of holding an appointed and a merit system position. Stimpson claims he can replace Bell, but hasn’t decided if he will.

“At this point, we’re still studying that, trying to figure if that’s the most effective way to do things,” said Stimpson. “And once we come to a conclusion, we’ll sit down with Mr. Bell and we’ll figure out what’s the best way to go with this.”

Another issue that’s come up with Stimpson’s new administration is that several live in Baldwin County.

Stimpson says he can’t legally compel anyone to move to Mobile but says James Barber, at least, will do so.

“Of course I would like for them to live in the city, but they have established families, schools, and  neighborhoods and communities where they live” said the new mayor. “I do think that it’s very important that the police chief relocate and he’s agreed to relocate.”

Stimpson’s choices for police and fire chief, as well as finance and public works director, must be approved by the city council. Stimpson says he plans to appoint a Public Safety Director as well – a position that was not filled under Mayor Sam Jones.

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