Rockford Council appoints new member, hires police chief
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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
During its meeting Tuesday evening, the Rockford Town Council appointed a council member to fill the Seat 4 position.
The seat was recently vacated by the resignation of former Councilmember Kimberly Crowe. During Tuesday’s meeting Mayor Scott White stated that the town only had one person apply for the position by the deadline.
Niesha Whetstone, who had formerly served on the council, addressed the council briefly and said that she has lived in Rockford all her life. She said that she is “about change and being fair,” adding that she wants to see the community “get back where it used to be and have a lot of things for the elderly and the kids.”
“We’re about fairness here, so I think she’ll fit in just fine,” White said.
The council unanimously approved appointing Whetstone to the Town Council Seat 4, allowing her to officially return to the council. After the meeting adjourned, Whetstone took the oath of office and was sworn in to serve on the council at next month’s meeting.
Also during the meeting the council unanimously approved removing the town’s name from the Utilities Board’s bank accounts in order to move those over to fully be under the board.
The council, White and town attorney Tom Young also briefly discussed Avenu, which the town has a contract with for collecting business licenses in town. That contract ends next month, and White said that he personally would like for the town to consider entering into a 1-year contract rather than another 3-year contract to give the council time to look into the matter further.
However, since the contract does not end until the end of the year, meaning the council has time to review it prior to that, Young asked that the contract be sent to him for review.
After discussion, the council unanimously approved tabling the Avenu contract until next month’s meeting to review and look into it further.
Separate from this week’s meeting, the Town Council held a special called meeting on November 3 to hire a new chief of police for the town.
Following an executive session for discussion, the council unanimously approved hiring George Fanning as chief of police.
Fanning most recently worked as the school resource officer for Maplesville High School and as an officer with the Maplesville Police Department. He is certified with the National Association of School Resource Officers and served 18 months on a Narcotics and Violent Crimes Task Force.
Fanning will start as Rockford’s police chief on November 28.
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Rockford Town Council will be held at 6 p.m. December 20.