Several instances of questionable actions recently taken by the board prompted the commission’s decision.
“As I said Monday, we’re making the effort to improve communications between our board members and our community,” District 4 Commissioner Jimmy Roberson said. “We’re looking to move forward from this in a positive manner.”
As reported in December 2012, a number of complaints resulted in refunds totaling more than $7,000 in illegal charges to residents, business owners and banks purchasing foreclosed properties.
Under Blair’s watch, the water authority received a request from Roberson in June 2012 for an audit to be conducted by the state examiners office.
Customers also made their voices heard in May 2012 regarding issues with the bidding process for the water authority’s surplus property.
Currently, the water authority is under investigation by the Talladega County District Attorney’s Office and the Ethics Commission, but Roberson declined to comment or speculate on whether the prior incidents were the reason.
The commission approved Roberson’s recommendation to have Adria Bryars fill Blair’s unexpired term.
“She has attended numerous meetings in the past and she brought concerns to the board,” Roberson said. “She has never approached me about wanting to serve on the board, but I personally approached her about the position.”
Roberson noted that as elected officials, commissioners must remain accountable for those placed into board positions throughout the county.
“The commission is the appointing authority and all of us are responsible for the actions these board members take,” Roberson said.
After the meeting Monday, Roberson said he was unable to obtain a legal opinion from county attorney Barry Vaughn regarding the board’s ability to remove a sitting member because Vaughn also represents the water authority.
Vaughn could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Contact Shane Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org.