Reply All: Emails ignite conflict for Decatur city leaders

Councilman Hunter Pepper has been criticized by the mayor for missing meetings.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 8:35 AM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling is calling out one city council member and now it’s all become very public.

Mayor Bowling chastised Councilman Pepper in an email for missing too many council meetings. The exchange was sent to 30 people, including a reporter from WAFF’s news partners at the Decatur Daily.

The exchange all started on July 12 when a constituent sent an email about a recent annexation to several city leaders and other people around Decatur.

Councilman Pepper replied all and said he would be missing Monday’s city council meeting for a family vacation. The mayor wrote back to everyone in the email chain, setting the drama into motion.

He wrote:

“You have been missing numerous meetings and work sessions. Being unaware of a planned family event doesn’t hold water for me, Mr. Pepper. It means you can be a day or two late to a vacation as you serve as a City Councilman, considering your recent absences.

“I encourage you to get your priorities in order, especially considering the continued embarrassments you continue to bring on our city during this historic time of growth.”

Pepper replied back to all 30 people saying he had medical reasons for missing each meeting.

Pepper told WAFF’s partners at the Decatur Daily that he feels that the mayor should address these issues with him personally and in private. Several other council members jumped in to agree with Pepper on this point.

Councilman Carlton McMasters cut to the core and said “don’t hit - reply all”.

When asked for comment, councilman Pepper responded with the following statement:

“At this time, I will not comment any further on the incident other than I will continue to work with our Mayor and the rest of the council to continue to grow our city.”

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