Mobile, Ala (WKRG) Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is suing the Mobile City Council. The Mayor says was is elected to “run the executive branch” and “run the city. Now the Mayor is using the court system to reaffirm his authority.
The lawsuit stems from the hiring and then firing of City Council spokesperson, Marion Steinfels. However, city council leaders believe there’s more to it than this single personnel issue.
For 33 years, the Mayor and City council have taken over the leadership of the city after the Federal government determined a 3 person City Commission wasn’t effectively serving all the city’s constituents, specifically minorities. Since then, the Mayor and Council have found ways to compromise on divisive issues. That was until the Mayor filed a civil suit against the City Council in Circuit Court.
City Council Vice President, Levon Manzie says, “We’re all in charge. There are 8 people in charge of our city. It’s a bigger issue than one individual, it’s the principal of how our government was created.”
In contrast, Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a video statement on Twitter; “In recent weeks there’s been some confusion about the powers that reside in the city council and the ones that reside with the Mayor’s office. In fact, there’s a fundamental difference of opinion on the interpretation of the law. Therefore we’ve taken action and gone to the court system hoping they will resolve this issue.”
Both sides hope to end the dispute amicably. Manzie says, “We hope this issue is resolved before thousands of tax dollars are spent in the courts. However, this is not an issue that can have one party, the Council or the Mayor, getting everything they want.”
The Mayor and City Council have a retreat scheduled for December 11th and 12th.