Brighton’s mayor to lay out plans at first council meeting of 2017

BRIGHTON, Ala. (WIAT) — Brighton will have its first city council meeting of the year on Tuesday.

Brighton is facing a steep financial crisis. In the past, the city has struggled to pay city employees and struggled to function for the more than 2,800 people who live there.

Brighton’s youngest mayor is hoping to make some changes in the way the city does business.

Before 24-year-old Brandon Dean took over, the former mayor cut the police department in half.

Dean says he plans to look into what’s going on with the money so he can move the city in a better direction.

“Not only does the city of Brighton have a lot of issues, not only does the city fall short as it relates to how it has maintained it’s budget, but it’s also failed to maintain ethics and consistency in the way we do business,” Dean said.

Dean says unfortunately this is how things have been running for a long time and that makes some people uncomfortable with his new approach.

Dean says on a good month, the city is only seeing about $200,000-250,000 of revenue, but the city’s bills are almost double that. He says there’s a major shortfall in the budget and he’s still finding out about bills and account delinquencies.

He plans to present two candidates to fill spots on the Planning and Zoning Board at Tuesday’s meeting. It’s a move that will hopefully move the city forward.

“We want to reactivate those committees so that we could have any liability associated with them not functioning eliminated because without having a Planning and Zoning Board, it’s difficult to actually go through the actual process for even recruiting businesses into the city.” said Dean.

Dean says he’s also going to address some legislative priorities, some new laws and ordinances related to the care and keep of animals.

Brighton has faced an up and down garbage situation. Dean says the garbage bill as approximately $16,555 a month, but he says the city’s account is delinquent and he doesn’t understand why.

“We don’t have to allocate resources towards that obligation, citizens are billed every single month for that service, and so, it should be a case where when the citizens are billed for it it’s immediately paid once it’s been processed and shows up in our account, that’s not happening,”said Dean.

Dean says he also plans to address the employment contract of a former city clerk who’s been collecting a $1,000 a month severance pay. He says he hasn’t seen legal documents showing that the former employee should receive pay.

The first city council meeting of the year is at City Council Chambers at 6 p.m.

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