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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  • by Rebecca Location: Dothan on Nov 29, 2007 at 05:29 PM
    I think Mike West has done a fabulous job with the resources available to him in the relatively short time he has been here. He was recruited to come here. His fatal flaw..... he's not home grown!!!! The good people of Dothan will never be happy with anyone but their own. We all want better schools, roads and public facilities; but we aren't willing to pay for them. The added penny sales tax was a necessity because we refuse to increase property or any other tax. If the city commission is dumb enough to let Mike West get away, good luck finding anyone with half his credentials to even consider taking a chance with Dothan after what we did to West.
  • by Richard Location: Dothan on Nov 29, 2007 at 04:47 PM
    It is about time! Next is the Police Chief and then Pat Thomas, so called Mayor. What a waste of time and money that the citizens of Dothan have had to endure. This city does not need a City Manager it needs a FULL time Mayor; for which, we already know Pat Thomas can not handle this position and he has told us already he "would not want it (Mayor) in a FULL time capacity already. As, far as the Police Chief, he does not have a handle on his position: this is evident in the vast crime spree upon gas stations and resturants and murders in dothan. Also, the rash of employee incidents within the depeartment (strife). It's great all he can do is reward poor performance with raises and promotions (12), and then (12)more again, after asking for 5 more new officers? Everyone's promoted! NOW, we need to hire cops to WORK THE STREETS; But, don't worry they look good in thier new police cars. BUT, the robberies go on. Don't forget our new sidewalks to no where and our 1X a WK trash P/U. thnx Mike
  • by stuart Location: enterprise on Nov 29, 2007 at 10:18 AM
    pay attention to the will of the people. those not elected last time should know.
  • by Buddy Wax Location: Dothan on Nov 28, 2007 at 08:33 PM
    Dothan took a step backward with the commissioners' vote on Tuesday. Since only two were involved in the hiring process, their evaluations and votes are rather suspect. With the exception of Amos Newsome, a controversial commissioner at best, commissioners had graded Mike West as at least "acceptable", but then voted against him. Explanation, please! Since Taylor Barbaree had a prepared statement for the media immediately following the vote, it is quite obvious the vote not to renew West's contract was a foregone act, most likely violating Alabama's open meeting law. Since the disciples of Kenneth Everett cannot remove Pat Thomas, they are taking it out on Mike West. What a "high school" act! Dothan has effectively assured that no qualified city manager will be available to carry our city forward with vision. It's likely Kenneth Everett will apply for City Manager. What a drawing card for Dothan's future--five commissioners with no 'stones' for what is right & an idiot pulling strings
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