Richardson Plans Next Step

Richardson Plans Next Step

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Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson says he’s not sure what will happen next after his nomination of former mayor Sam Jones to the water board was turned down Tuesday for a second time.

The divide on the vote has been along racial lines and that has some worried and fearful about the city’s future.

“I am frightened about where it appears Mobile is headed,” said Al Stokes, who spent nearly twenty years serving as Chief of Staff for both mayors Mike Dow and Sam Jones.

“You know, I grew up in this town when there were clearly two Mobiles,” said Stokes.  “And the Mobile I see in the direction where we are going is not one. And I applaud the mayor for having put forth that vision. But I certainly hold the council responsible for not pushing it further.”

Where the council goes from here is yet to be determined.

“It’s Sam Jones today and it’s gonna be Sam Jones tomorrow,” said Richardson on Tuesday. But when contacted Wednesday by News-5, Richardson said he’s not sure he’ll bring Jones’ nomination up again.

Richardson did say there would be some sort of response.

As for Mayor Sandy Stimpson, he remains on the sideline. In Tuesday’s council meeting, he  sidestepped a direct question from a citizen on Jones’ nomination.

“That is the decision of the city council,” Stimpson said.

Some residents, though, are demanding more leadership from the mayor’s office.

“I listening at rhetoric, but I don’t see any actions,” said Rev. Cleveland McFarland of the St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church.

Stimpson and Councilman Joel Daves, however, hinted that the current disharmony may not be a horribly unfortunate predicament but actually a calculated ploy.

“I believe once we put this issue behind us there will be other issues that will be brought forward and divide this city further,” said Daves.

“There are some whose best interest might be not to have unity,” said Stimpson.

The disunity however clearly upset citizens who attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“I think that Mobile is divided,” said Yvette Devonish.

At least one citizen is holding out hope.

“I do believe down the road we will come together,” said Mary B. Walker. “Because you know, we’ve been through a lot of things.”

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