By Tanna Friday
For The Tribune
ARGO — A heated discussion about the fire chief’s temporary status broke out among members of the Argo City Council members Monday evening.
In two weeks fire chief Mike Platt’s part-time status will expire and end a six-month part time probationary period for the Argo fire chief. This follows a decision the Council approved in July to accommodate Chief Mike Platt’s request for reclassification after accepting a full-time position with the Homewood Fire Department.
“The six-month trial period is over,” said Mayor Betty Bradley. “We have to decide if we are going to keep our fire chief on as permanently part time or if we are going to go back to full time.”
Councilor Corkey Massey asked the Council for a motion to table this matter until the next council meeting, Jan. 22, until Platts has an opportunity to make arrangements with his other employers.
“I’ve talked with the chief, and I think we could work everything out,” said Massey. “He said he will consider coming back full time, but needs time to talk to the chief at both Homewood and Pell City. It’s not fair to argue about it for three hours tonight.”
Massey reminded everyone that the Mayor had a vendetta against Platt.
“I’m going to make my discussion here right now,” said Massey. “Bradley told us before we were sworn in that she didn’t know if she could work with the fire chief.”
Bradley interjected that she had no intentions of getting rid of anyone and didn’t know who she could work with.
Councilor Tony Alldredge said, “What she told us was that she was going to give everyone the opportunity…” and Massey interrupted, “And she named the fire chief!”
“We are not talking about one certain person,” said Bradley. “We are talking about a department.”
“I don’t get to see what’s going on day to day, but in my opinion, this city needs a full-time fire chief,” said Alldredge. “That job is here after every one of us is gone.”
The Council’s vote ended in a tie, so the fire chief will revert back to full time status.
In other matters, the Council:
- Approved the minutes from Dec. 4;
- Approved the signing of a contract to update the fire department’s computer software to stay in compliance with the State of Alabama;
- Approved Mayor to sign and enter in agreement with St. Clair Country to repair roads;
- Approved to enter in agreement and propose resolution for the city’s storm shelter;
- Approved installation of signal controllers at Margaret/Argo;
- Approved increase of expenditures for the purchase of video detection camera from $8,000 to $10,000; and
- Approved invoice of Municipal Workers Compensation to be paid.
Argo Council will have its next regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 22 beginning at 6 p.m.