Century Council Breaks Impasse And Hires Billing Clerk

February 19, 2019

The Century Town Council broke their impasse Monday night over the hiring of a billing clerk.

The council voted 3-2 to promote Netanya “Toni” Simmons as recommended by Mayor Henry Hawkins and increase her salary from $9.80 to $12 per hour. The  council publicly interviewed Simmons during their regular meeting. She was only candidate interviewed by the council as advised by the town lawyer.

Hawkins first recommended to promote Simmons from within at the council’s January 28 meeting. Council president Ann Brooks, who represented the council at the interviews of several candidates back in January, said that she did not believe she was the best candidate. The council voted to interview Simmons and three other candidates.

On February 4, Brooks cited an emailed opinion from Matt Danheisser, town attorney, stating that the council essentially has veto power to disapprove of the mayor’ choice, but the council could not direct the hiring of a person not recommended by the mayor. Four council members split 2-2 on a motion not to promote Simmons, and 2-2 on a motion in the affirmative. Each time, Brooks and Ben Boutwell voted against Simmons, while Luis Gomez and Sandra McMurray-Jackson were in her favor. Council member James Smith was absent, causing the council to deadlock and instead decide to interview Simmons.

Monday night, Gomez, Jackson and Smith voted in favor of the promotion, and Boutwell and Brooks voted against. Gomez participated by phone for medical reasons.

According to her application, Simmons has worked with the town for just over a year as a clerk tech. She was previously employed for six months as a cashier at Odom’s Bar and Package, and six months as a desk clerk at Performance Tire & Wheel in Brewton. She is certified in Office, PowerPoint and Excel.

The previous billing clerk, Angela Suggs, resigned her position after seven years. The position is responsible for billing about $1.6 million in water, sewer and natural gas revenue each year.

Pictured: The Century Town Council interviews town employee Toni Simmons before promoting her to billing clerk during their Monday night meeting. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


2 Responses to “Century Council Breaks Impasse And Hires Billing Clerk”

  1. Well on February 19th, 2019 3:27 pm

    She will at least have her opportunity. Hopefully it will work out well for her and the City.

  2. anne 1of2 on February 19th, 2019 9:37 am

    Congratulations to this young lady who has changed jobs and got training to try for a better paying job. Thanks to the Council for giving her this chance.

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