Silverhill again considers promoting Taylor to chief

By John Underwood john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 8/29/18

SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Town of Silverhill is once again considering moving Sgt. Michael Taylor from acting police chief into a more permanent role as chief, but once again delayed a vote on the …

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Silverhill again considers promoting Taylor to chief

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SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Town of Silverhill is once again considering moving Sgt. Michael Taylor from acting police chief into a more permanent role as chief, but once again delayed a vote on the matter at the Aug. 20 meeting.

“I don’t think any of us has an objection to hiring him as chief,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jared Lyles. “We just want to make sure we’re doing everything the right way.”

Taylor has served as the town’s acting chief since the resignation of Kevin Brock in January.

After asking attorney Josh Myrick if the town could hire a part time officer rather than hire a chief at its Feb. 5 meeting, the council voted to advertise for the position at its Feb. 19 meeting after it was determined that the town must have a police chief.

An additional part-time officer has also been hired following a plea by Taylor and other members of the police department at the March 5 meeting.

Taylor also addressed council members at the April 2 meeting regarding the police department’s Standard Operating Procedure. After meeting with town prosecutor Mike Dasinger, the council voted to approve an updated SOP in June.

Questions arose at the Aug. 20 meeting as to whether or not the town could hire a police chief on a part-time basis.

Myrick told council members that the town’s ordinance did require the town to have a chief, but was unsure if the ordinance required the chief to serve fulltime. Council members decided to delay voting on the matter until the issue is resolved.

“If the ordinance requires you to hire a chief on a fulltime basis, then you would need to change the ordinance in order to hire a chief on a part-time basis,” Myrick said.

In response to questions from Council member Wayne Gruenloh, Taylor said he was also serving as a part-time reserve officer in Mobile County, but that he did not believe it would interfere with his duties as chief.

“I set my own hours and there have been instances where I was working over there and was called back over here to respond to an emergency,” he said. “It hasn’t been a problem and I don’t foresee that it will be a problem in the future.”

In other business, Sherry Sullivan with Point Broadband addressed the council, encouraging residents within the town limits to sign up for the service.

“We’ve gotten a lot of interest in the area, but we need at least 10 people within the line-of-sight area to sign up,” she said, adding that those who do will get $25 off their installation fees.

The council voted in July of last year to approve a contract with Point Broadband to use the town’s water tower to install equipment for internet services.

Contracts have already been signed with other municipalities, as well as the Baldwin County Commission, North Baldwin Utilities and Belforest. Both Loxley and Summerdale approved 10-year contracts with the company in May 2017.

In other business Aug. 20 the council:

•Approved a plan to pay half of family coverage insurance for town employees.

•Approved a storm debris removal contract.

•Voted to allow The Porch to conduct its annual Zombie Walk on Saturday, Oct. 27. Participants will walk from Oscar Johnson Park to Town Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Lyles said past proceeds from the event have been used to purchase school supplies for Silverhill students.

•Voted to purchase a sponsorship with the Silverhill PTA at a cost of $250.

The Silverhill Town Council once again delayed the hiring of a new police chief, tabling a vote at its Monday, April 16 meeting, prompting several town employees to speak out.