Thumbs down to Rogersville Town Council members for getting off to a dubious start by meeting more than once in secret. The meetings, which occurred before the council was sworn in for the next term, apparently did not violate the state's open meetings law, but they did nothing to instill trust in town leaders. Councilman Jim Landers went out of his way to seek a loophole to the open meetings law by consulting with the Alabama League of Municipalities. He said he then participated in one-one-one sessions and meetings of three in his camper outside his residence. Maybe they should be dubbed "The Camper Council."
Thumbs up to a partnership that has purchased the Emerald River Hotel in Sheffield, with plans for improvements and an affiliation with a major hotel chain. The 200-room former Holiday Hill facility may look tired, but it has potential and could be revived under the right circumstances and ownership. Das Red, a limited partnership that operates hotels in Washington and Oregon, has the goal of renovating the rooms, common area, restaurant, banquet facilities and exterior, a hotel official said.
Thumbs down to the politicians and their campaign workers who litter the roadways leading up to polling places. Some of the signs are dangerous, as was the case on Cox Creek Parkway at the Mars Hill School precinct in Florence. Placing signs so close to the exits blocked the view of drivers trying to pull out onto the busy five-lane highway. So in addition to being unsightly — and likely ineffective given the number of competing signs — this practice has become hazardous.
Thumbs up to Alabama Department of Transportation Director John Cooper for taking a hands-on approach to highway projects in northwest Alabama. Cooper deserves credit for his role in ending the impasse over rights of way acquisitions that held up the Wilson Dam Road widening project. Cooper returned to the area Thursday to tour progress on the Wilson Dam Road improvements and several other projects. He said the visits are a great way to see how projects are progressing and to talk with local people about highway needs.