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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — The backlash to social media action by Decatur City councilman Hunter Pepper and his subsequent response, city leaders say this is the perfect time to look at the bigger picture. 

Decatur civic leader Andrea Hoffmeier says Pepper’s constituents should re-evaluate those who make the decisions at city hall and that evaluation starts with the city’s mayor. 

“Tab Bowling is in a position of influence, and he is in a position of authority as the mayor of our city,” Hoffmeier told News 19.  

There were calls for hunter pepper to resign at Monday’s city council meeting after Pepper put a laughing emoji on a story that was posted involving sexual content.  

Hoffmeier can be considered a mainstay at Decatur city council meetings says that after the latest ill-timed social media reply by Pepper, now is the time to take corrective action, instead of calling for him to step down from his district post. 

“We are supposed to have a process in the city of Decatur for evaluating if we have ethics breaches,” Hoffmeier said. “We don’t have that in place in the city of Decatur.”

Hoffmeier says there’s more than just the young councilman’s immature actions while pointing to Pepper’s email spat with Decatur city Bowling, who also made headlines after reports surfaced about his operation of an Air BnB at his home despite a city ordinance that prohibits that operation. 

“What is expected is that Tab Bowling should be giving a sterling example of how we behave,” Hoffmeier said. 

 When asked about his questionable social media posts, Pepper chose to focus on the city’s progress. 

“I want people to understand that I am human too and we all make mistakes,” Pepper explained. “I don’t ever want to be talking about the negative when it comes to our city. My goal is to only talk about the positive because when it comes down to scrutiny over small, negative things, that’s a big deterrent for a lot of these businesses and larger chains to come here.”