Rogers resigns from Oak Grove Council
by Mark Ledbetter
OAK GROVE — At the conclusion of the Town Council meeting Tuesday night Councilwoman Sue Rogers announced her resignation from the council.

In an emotional statement, Rogers cited health reasons as part of her reasons for resigning. Rogers has been battling a sever case of shingles since August.

After the meeting, Rogers advised anyone with flu-like symptoms to be tested for shingles. Her case affected the right side of her face externally and internally. She said had she had gotten treatment sooner, the severity of her illness may not have created the post-illness effects she now suffers.

Rogers said she hoped to soon be able to return to her volunteer duties at Coosa Valley Medical Center.

In her resignation letter, Rogers thanked the citizens of Oak Grove for electing her as the first woman to serve on the town council.

“It has been a real learning experience for me,” Rogers wrote. “I have learned from the mayor, council, staff and the Alabama League of Municipalities from whom I earned my Certified Municipal Official award.”

“Sue has served the town of Oak Grove admirably,” Mayor Charles Merkel said. “Sue has a unique perspective, in fact each council member has unique perspectives and that is what makes the group effective. We work as a team.”

Merkel said Rogers has served as the safety liaison and coordinator. “She is the one that went out and found out how to get Neighborhood Watch going.”

Rogers cited other safety issues she addressed while serving the past four years, including marked parking areas in front of the Senior Center and working with Frank Young to establish the Neighborhood Watch and having Neighborhood Watch signs posted throughout the community.

Another concern Rogers addressed was the increasing number of stray dogs and working with the council to create a vicious dog ordinance.

Rogers wrote she intended to serve the next term, “but sometimes our plans are not in God’s plan.”

Rogers wrote, “I regret having to resign, but because of health reasons and due to the upkeep of our current residence, we have to consider moving to a low maintenance property and home, therefore meaning I can no longer qualify to serve on the Oak Grove Council.”

Merkel said after pledging the council’s support and encouraging Rogers to remain on the council, Rogers said she could not continue to serve.

Merkel said he contacted the Alabama League of Municipalities and was informed that since Rogers resigned at the last official council meeting she filled a full term and the resignation would not be in effect until the new term begins Nov. 5.

“We hate it for her,” Merkel said. “She had no idea when she qualified for another term that she would have these health problems.”

Merkel said the council has 60 days to appoint someone and the council could appoint someone as early the Nov. 13 meeting. “We will try to build on what we’ve done; we have some idea of the direction for a new appointment,” Merkel said.

During the meeting the council discussed several items, but only performed one official act by approving the purchase of tires for their senior citizens bus.

The council discussed:

• Changing the town’s fireworks ordinance to be consistent with the state law.

• Replacing two doors at the Senior Center because they were beyond repair and could possibly become a safety issue.

• Disposing of two of the six buses owned by the town. The buses will be disposed of in accordance to Alabama Department of Transportation regulations.

• Raising business license issuance fees from $5 to $10 to align with fees issued by other municipalities. State law allows municipalities to issue fees up to $12.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at mledbetter@dailyhome.com

© 2012