Shockwaves Continue Over West Contract Renewal Vote

Shockwaves continue to travel through Dothan after Tuesday’s five to two vote not to renew City Manager Mike West's contract.

If the seven evaluations of City Manager Mike West didn't speak enough of the opinions the mayor and city commissioners had of him, then the five to two vote on Tuesday did.

Turns out the vote has set many in Dothan on edge and some firmly on the fence.

However, the evaluations and corresponding vote are leaving others simply asking why.

"After hearing the vote and looking at all of the evaluations that all of the commissioners did; all of them but one pretty much had acceptable then they vote against him. That’s what I didn't understand," says Phillip Tidwell, former District 6 commissioner.

More than three years ago, the mayor and commissioners conducted a nationwide search to find a suitable city manager. Their choice ended up being Mike West.

Former District 5 Commissioner Jason Rudd said, "We found Mr. West; he's been a good fit, he's done a wonderful job here. He's not perfect, nobody's perfect. There is a lot of things you have to consider when hiring that position."

"I don’t think the five that voted against Mike yesterday really understand what it takes to get a city manager from a nationwide search,” Tidwell said.

Bob Hendrix of the Dothan Visitors and Conventions Bureau also has accolades for West. "He has been very helpful in helping us secure groups to come to the Dothan area, especially ball tournaments like soccer and tennis and softball," he said.

And, that translates into dollars for local businesses.

Of the seven who voted on Tuesday, only two were involved in the search for a new city manager in 2004.

"A lot of political turnover in the city commission, which is not unexpected; he knew there was going to be some. He came here strong and I think he's going to leave strong," said Rudd.

Opinions on many topics, but everyone News 4 spoke with on Wednesday agrees all commissioners and the city manager want the best for Dothan, just have different means to an end.

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