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Havana Town Council hires new town attorney

The Havana Town Council held its December monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 12 at 6 p.m. 

The  council began the meeting by voting unanimously to appoint Jody Finklea as the new town attorney.

Finklea, a graduate of the Florida State University School of Law, and wife Sena both attended the meeting, and spent some time afterward getting to know the town government he will soon be working for.

The Council then voted to extend the town’s current contract with Water Operator Southerland Environmental Services, with no change in terms, on an annual renewal basis, with a 3% annual increase in service costs.

“We have a great relationship with the current water operator, and there’s no anticipated improvement in service by changing providers at this point, so the requested increase is reasonable,” said Town Manager Kendrah Wilkerson. 

The council next discussed bids for continuing engineering services which the town solicited for.

Proposals were received from Dewberry Engineers and Alday Howell, both of which have for Havana in the past.

Town Manager Wilkerson recommended that both firms be approved as engineers of record, which can then be contacted for upcoming projects as needed.

The council voted unanimously to approve the recommendation.

Finally, the Council members took time to recognize longtime Havana Police Chief Tracy Smith, soon to retire, for his contributions to the safety and security of the Town of Havana.

“It’s hard to find the words to say ‘thank you’ enough,” Wilkerson told Smith. “I would like to personally thank you as a friend, as a mentor, as an advocate for the town. In a role which has been really hard, you have been by my side, and been a great encouragement and help for me personally.”

“I appreciate it,” Smith told the Council. “I truly have a heart for Havana. That’s why I do what I do. It’s been a good ride, a long ride. I’ve always been told ‘you’ll know when it’s time. Well, it’s time.”  

Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service