Vinemont Town Council appoints Ross Campbell to vacant seat

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The Vinemont Town Council appointed Ross Campbell to its open seat at a special-called meeting on June 3, 2024. (Cheyenne Sharp)

VINEMONT, Ala. —The Vinemont Town Council at a special-called meeting on Monday, June 3, heard nominations and appointed Ross Campbell to the open seat vacated by Charlotte Cosper in April.

Mayor Radginal Dodson, along with council members Chris Thompson, Nina Justice and Bonnie Goodwin, was present for the meeting; council member Sonya Copeland was absent.

Four men were up for the nomination to the seat: Campbell, Grady Malone, Jerry Smith and Michael Ashbaugh. The council’s discussion during the meeting was around the need to appoint a longtime resident with a forward-thinking vision for the town’s future.  

Thompson nominated Malone and cited his knowledge of town infrastructure and building codes as a positive attribute. It’s no secret that Thompson has been a champion for the growth and expansion of Vinemont. Mentioning the growth that Cullman County will experience in the next few years with the newly announced Smith Lake resort (www.cullmantribune.com/2024/06/01/exclusive-one-of-the-most-ambitious-projects-in-alabama-history/), Thompson said he hoped that growth would move toward the small town of Vinemont with the help of Malone.

“That’s what is happening in Cullman right now. It’s busting at the seams and it’s going to be moving this way,” said Thompson. “We need a new vision, a new passion, a new drive.”

Dodson called for a vote on Malone’s nomination with Dodson and Thompson in favor of Malone and Justice and Goodwin against.

Goodwin nominated longtime resident Campbell for the vacated seat. Goodwin said he believed his longevity as a resident and decades of local relationships and knowledge will help the town move forward.

“He’s been here all his life,” said Goodwin. “He knows the town.”

Dodson once again called for a vote to cement Campbell’s nomination, with Thompson voting no and the remaining three council persons voting yes.

Justice said, “I agree with Chris (Thompson) that we need new insight and new things coming, but I’ve been here in town for 40 years and I still have a lot of insight into what we want to do.”

According to Town Clerk Kayecea Sasser, Malone’s nomination was voided by the split vote, leaving Campbell as the new member of the Vinemont Town Council.

“Mayor Dodson, as it stands, Grady Malone’s nomination has been killed; there is no tie. Ross Campbell – his nomination is the only valid nomination,” said Sasser.

Campbell will be sworn in at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on June 11, at 6 p.m.

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