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Hartselle City Council reacts to Mayor Hall’s arrest at work session

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HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) --  It's not a vacancy, it's a leave of absence. That was what the Hartselle city attorney wanted to get across at Monday's city council work session.  Hartselle Mayor Don Hall was arrested and charged with DUI this weekend. City Council President Bill Smelser will act as Mayor Pro Tempore while Hall takes some time away from the office.

The work session was cancelled due to a lack of council members in attendance, but the council used the gathering as an opportunity to address the public about Hall's arrest.

"I have been with Don on numerous trips where alcohol has been and he has never, never taken a drink in front of me," Smelser told WHNT News 19.

Smelser said he got a phone call Friday night alerting him to the arrest in Limestone County.

"We're just trying to work through it" said City Councilman Kenny Thompson. "And he needs our prayers and support at this time and that's what we're all planning on doing."

Hall is technically still in office, he's just not able to serve right now. WHNT News 19 spoke with a few concerned residents who said a little time for reflection might do some good for the entire city.  "I think a time of evaluation and that's what he's doing at this point, is a good decision," said Shane Britt with U Prayed. "I think he'll regroup, refocus, and come back and lead us very compassionately and move us forward, continue move us forward."

"I would say he definitely made a mistake," said Thompson. "I don't know. Who of us hasn't even made a mistake? I'm not going to condemn him, that's something he's got to work through."

There is always the possibility that Mayor Hall could resign. If that were to happen, the city council would have to elect a new mayor. However, Smelser said he believes Hall will be back in no time.  "Don is still the mayor of Hartselle," he said. "Don was elected by the citizens of Hartselle to be the mayor, I am a representative of the mayor, I will assume his responsibilities but when he is back where he thinks he is okay, when he thinks he can reassume the responsibilities of the mayor, he will be the mayor of Hartselle."


  • jones

    What’ s the big deal here? The obvious reason for this misguided meeting is that he is a public official. We understand the reasoning but we also understand the fact that he is a human being as well. Quit tripping and let the man be. its one of those misdemeanors and all this stuff is nothing but political grand standing. Ridiculous.

  • Rany Hill

    I do not know Mr. Hall personally and cannot vouch for his character. But he deserves our compassion and prayers. I live in Falkville but do business in Hartselle. From all indications the mayor and council have a lot on the ball. Hartselle is a thriving, vibrant city. If the mayor spent this time condemning others, justifying his actions and acting a fool, it would make a difference. So, Mr. Hall, hold your head up. Seek the help of the most high Jesus Christ. You will quickly find out who your friends are–and who isn’t. The important thing is for you to find out who you are and be proud of that person. Making mistakes is human. Facing them and turning to something better–exceptional.

  • BadNewsGirl

    I agree with the concept of compassion. I agree that everyone makes mistakes. But why is it that every time a political figure is arrested, everyone jumps on the band wagon and wants to forgive, forget, move on, help, love, reach out, etc. If it had been my 22 year old son or daughter, then it would be “let ’em sit in jail, let ’em loose their license, let ’em learn their lesson. My question is, would the same amount of compassion, caring, and forgiveness been granted to an “average Joe” employee of the City of Hartselle? Would they be put on a paid leave of absence with an additional car allowance of $350.00? Just asking!

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