Fighting for You: Program Director Wants To Know Why Mayor Didn’t Tell Her About Eviction

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PAINT ROCK, Ala. (WHNT) - A long-time community mainstay in Paint Rock has shut its doors. Paint Rock's town council voted to move the 'Clothing Room' out of the building it has used for decades. The woman who runs the business says she didn't find out she needed to vacate until two days before the doors were set to close.

Rhonda Atchley is the Clothing Room's Director. Everyone in Paint Rock knows it's the place to go when you need clothes, but don't have the money. Atchley told WHNT NEWS 19 she's hurt, knowing the town council closed the doors to the community's Clothing Room without telling her. She wants to know why.

Families in the Paint Rock community have gotten help from the Clothing Room for 40 years.

"A lot of the kids are grown now, but still remember coming down here," said Atchley.

Atchley runs the consignment shop stocked with toys and clothing for children and adults.

"We have anything that anyone needs," added Atchley.

Paint Rock families living on a tight budget are no longer the only ones in need.

"I was told Wednesday that they are shutting this down the first of the month to turn it into a police station," added Atchley.

Customers can get clothes from the Clothing Room for free five days a week. Atchley and one other employee make it happen two hours a day.

The Paint Rock Town Council makes all of its decisions just a few steps away from the Clothing Room. Council members say the shop is no longer as beneficial as it was in years past.

Paint Rock Mayor Michael Counts was not at the town hall. WHNT NEWS 19 called him on his job.

"That is my fault. We met Monday night. I do agree that it was short notice and I was supposed to notify her," said Mayor Counts.

WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin asked the Mayor Counts why he did not tell Atchley the council voted to close the Clothing Room.

"I just hadn't. It is just one of those things. There are no excuses. This is just a busy time of year for me with a lot of the stuff that we have going on," added Mayor Counts.

WHNT NEWS 19 asked Atchley what she thought about the mayor's apology.

"I think he should have taken two minutes out of his day to inform me this was being brought up before the council instead just springing it on me," added Atchley.

WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin asked Mayor Counts if there was anything Atchley could do to get the Clothing Room re-opened. The mayor said Atchley and members of the community could talk to the council. Atchley told WHNT NEWS 19 she has a petition and wants all Paint Rock residents to sign it.