In discussing the proposed ordinance, Council Member Kevin Lacy accused city officials of being bullied into writing the ordinance coming before council. Lacy said over the last two council meetings he thought council had come to an agreement that the city ordinance would require food trucks to move every six days. Community Impact Newspaper previously reported council members had suggested mobile food vendors be able to operate for six days consecutively in the same place instead of two during an Oct. 12 meeting.
“My point is, if you don’t think there’s stuff going on in the background with people being pressured and bullied, you’re nuts,” Lacy said.
Dave McCorquodale, assistant city administrator and director of planning and development, said he did not believe there was a consensus that the ordinance would be six days instead of two. Lacy asked McCorquodale if anyone on the council approached him to recommend two days, to which McCorquodale replied that Mayor Sara Countryman and council member Byron Sanford had recommended it.
Lacy claimed Countryman harassed and bullied Sanford into recommending the ordinance be two days instead of six. He also accused Countryman of having a personal vendetta against the owner of the ice cream truck Texas Twists and Shakes, Bill Clevenger. Clevenger lost to Countryman in the last mayoral election, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
“This needs to be tabled until we have a different mayor that does not have a political vendetta against a small business in downtown Montgomery,” Lacy said during the Nov. 9 meeting.
Countryman denied Lacy’s claims and said she wants to set policies and ordinances that make sense for the city.
“As I’ve said, I don’t have a vendetta,” Countryman said. “I’m not a bully; I just want it done right.”
Sanford also pushed back against Lacy’s comments. He said he approached McCorquodale to recommend the ordinance include requiring food trucks to move every two or three days.
“100% of your assertions are 100% false,” Sanford said. “I think for myself, and I’ll do what’s in the best interest for the city.”
McCorquodale suggested the council not approve the ordinance as proposed if there were still questions about how often a food truck should be required to move.
“If you want to adopt rules, I would strongly encourage you to make them consistent with the county to provide clarity,” McCorquodale said.
The ordinance failed in a 3-2 vote Nov. 9. Lacy and Council Members T.J. Wilkerson and Julie Davis voted against it, while Sanford and Council Member Carol Langley voted to approve the ordinance.