By Crystal Burns
Bradford Mayor Dwayne Reynolds presided over his first meeting Monday, Dec. 7, after being elected to the city’s top post Nov. 3.
Reynolds and new Aldermen Kris Harding and Dustin Williams were sworn in by city judge Chad Butler at a previous ceremony at Butler’s office due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the area. All three men got another taste of how COVID-19 has changed how city government operates at the Dec. 7 meeting.
Only Reynolds and the city’s department heads attended the meeting in person at City Hall. All six aldermen attended electronically on a conference call that didn’t go as smoothly as anyone hoped. Aldermen had trouble hearing each other as City Recorder Jenny Dowland and City Clerk Sheila Cooper juggled the calls on two cell phones.
After the meeting, department heads reassured Reynolds that it would get better.
The agenda was brief, with aldermen considering Reynolds’ recommendation to appoint Carol Thomas as vice mayor. Alderman Frank Lockard made a motion to appoint Thomas, and Alderman Randy Graville seconded, but after the new board members expressed concerns from not having met all aldermen yet, Lockard and Graville rescinded their motion and second, respectively. The board voted to table the item until the January meeting.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to remove former mayor Ray Arnold’s name from the bank signatures and add Reynolds. Dowland said she would also add Cooper as her backup. The resolution can be amended to add the vice mayor’s name in January, Dowland said.
Reports – Fire Chief Joe Alexander reported 14 calls in November.
Police Chief David Andrews reported 79 calls for service, 72 traffic stops, 42 written citations, two arrests, 840 photo citations, and two assists in November. Andrews said he has hired Alan Walls, a seven-year Army veteran, as the city’s newest officer. Andrews said he would formally introduce Walls to the board in January.
Water/Street Supervisor J.D. Dethloff said the water tank had been inspected, and the department is waiting on the results. He included a welcome to the new mayor and expressed gratitude to previous leadership in his remarks.
“I want to welcome the new mayor and board members,” he said. “The past mayor and board members have made many improvements to our city, and we thank you for your service to the City of Bradford. Let’s keep moving forward and merry Christmas.”
Arnold’s remarks – Before handing the meeting over to Reynolds, Arnold complimented and thanked board members and departments heads for their work during the past six years.
“I think we had the best board that I could’ve had the last six years,” Arnold said. “We have come a long ways. Bradford has really improved, and I hope it keeps improving.”