Dothan Government Change Petition

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

Former Dothan Mayor, Kenneth Everett, is behind a campaign to change the city's governing body.
He's doing it through what's called a "Petition for Change in Form of Government of the City of Dothan."
You may have seen a full-page ad that was in the Dothan Eagle this morning.
It's part of the petition drive, which is trying to collect 2,400 signatures in order to change the government to a mayor-council form.
In the words of Mr. Everett, the main motivation behind his petition for change...is the recent sales tax increase, approved by Mayor Pat Thomas and city commissioners September 19th.
Mr. Everett says we--the voters--"were run over by a Mack truck" when the decision was made.
So if all the necessary signatures are obtained, legislation could be changed to say that future taxes will only be increased by a vote of the people.
And getting all 2,400 signatures will also give voters the option to change the form of government to mayor-council.
But Mayor Pat Thomas says this kind of adjustment won't change much.
“I think it's 6 to one half dozen of another. Right now under the city manager form of government, we have a city manager who runs the day-to-day. If you went to a strong mayor form of government, the first thing you'd do is hire a city administrator. It's that simple. So we'd still have an elected body that's responsible for making hard decisions. That's what we did here and that's what Mr. Everett's criticism is about
Mr. Everett declined an on-camera interview but says said so far, quite a few signatures have been obtained and he's had overwhelming response.
There is no deadline for the petitions to be signed, but Mr. Everett expects to have the drive completed by December first.


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