Gov. Robert Bentley did a good job tackling a rift that split the North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments.
The board of the organization — which is most important for the grant-funded services it provides for seniors in Morgan, Lawrence and Cullman counties — effectively collapsed in June. Poorly drafted bylaws allowed Cullman County to make a power play, stacking the board and making politically motivated and controversial hiring decisions.
Morgan County representatives lost patience. They pulled the county out of the organization. Hostilities flared and it appeared that if the organization survived, it would be without Morgan County, its largest member by population.
Instead of taking sides, Bentley looked for a resolution. He stalled an effort by Morgan County to join a different regional council and required board members from the three counties to attend mediation.
Details still need to be worked out, but the results of the mediation seem promising. As the largest county, Morgan County reasonably has demanded that it have a controlling vote. Cullman County board members now seem receptive.
Bentley’s deliberate actions allowed personality conflicts to subside. All of the board members need to stay focused on the consumers they serve, and Bentley’s involvement is helping that to happen.
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