/City Council receives critical letter
City Council in gold letters on purple backgroundGraphic by Bell Jackson

City Council receives critical letter

City Council in gold letters on purple background
Graphic by Bell Jackson

The Montevallo City Council met Monday, Sept. 14, for their regularly scheduled, biweekly meeting. The council met to discuss the set agenda topic as well as field the concerns of citizens who chose to attend the meeting. The council met in person and via Zoom, with the meeting livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page. 

Several citizens brought forward concerns regarding the financial health of the city, citing a letter addressed to the mayor, Dr. Hollie Cost, and the members of the City Council. Neither Cost nor any member of the city council had actually received the letter prior to this meeting.  

This letter warned of a “bleak and declining” state of financial affairs within the city, blaming these issues on the “the failure of meaningful financial controls in place and appropriately followed.”  

The letter also cast aspersions onto the Montevallo Development Cooperative District (MDCD), saying that it is responsible for borrowing and spending large amounts of money and is “used as a vehicle for city officials to move funds conveniently from one place to another.”  

These claims come in response to prior deliberation by the council to fund the building of a hotel and brewery in town, which the author of this letter and the citizens that endorse it believe will “recklessly endanger the city of Montevallo’s survival.”  

Cost expressed her disdain for the views expressed in this letter and emphasized by the citizens in attendance of the meeting, claiming that there were “gross errors within the letter,” and that “the city is in the best financial shape [it has] ever been in.”  

Cost went on to call the views expressed within the letter, “short sighted and wholly inaccurate,” as well as say that, “when the city is being attacked in this way, [she does] take it personally because [she and the City Council] have all put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears.” 

Earlier in the meeting, the City Council proclaimed Sept. 28, 2020 as Family Day and the week of Sept. 27, 2020 as Family Week in Montevallo. The observance of Family Day and Week is meant to emphasize the idea that committed families help equip children with the ability to overcome obstacles throughout their lives.  

The event is also meant to encourage two parents to be involved in raising a child, claiming that, “children who spend significant time with both parents show lower risk of suicide, dropout, teen pregnancy, incarceration and drug use.” Cost encourages citizens to participate in Family Week by spending more time with their families. 

The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 28, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be live streamed on the city’s Facebook page. Citizens may also attend the meeting in person at City Hall, however there will be limited seating and social distancing protocols put in place. 

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.