Phil Campbell City Council fills vacant seat

“We have declared a vacant seat for Jeremy Kastberg’s spot on the City Council,” explained Phil Campbell Mayor Mike McQuary during the Sept. 27 Phil Campbell City Council meeting.

The regular meeting, which would have been held the previous Tuesday, was canceled and rescheduled to Sept. 27. A notice was posted on the door of City Hall.

Kastberg’s term started in 2020, at the same time as the other members of the council. It was set to expire Oct. 31, 2025. He resigned Aug. 17, 2022. There was a regular meeting of the council the previous day, Aug. 16; Kastberg was not on the agenda or in attendance at that meeting.

After going into a brief executive session during the Sept. 27 meeting, the council ended the executive session and resumed the regular meeting.

“We have a vacant Place 2 position, which was resigned by Jeremy Kastberg, and by law we have 60 days to fill that position, or the governor will by a letter of recommendation,” explained McQuary.

Councilman Phillip King made a motion to appoint Rodney Kuykendall to the position, and Councilman Barry King seconded the motion. The council voted in favor of the selection.

McQuary told Kuykendall he will have to resign his position on the zoning board, and the council will find somebody to fill that spot after the resignation has taken place.

“I look forward to working with the other members to improve the community and, hopefully, bring more commerce to the area,” said Kuykendall.

In Kuykendall’s letter of interest to be appointed to the council, he explained that at the time of the election of the current councilmembers, multiple citizens had asked him to run for one of the seats, but having only been a resident of Phil Campbell for a short period of time at that point, he chose to wait.

He said while he has limited political experience, what he does have is the respect of his co-workers, many of whom are Phil Campbell residents.

“I believe my background and experience in researching projects and in dealing with personnel will benefit the City of Phil Campbell,” wrote Kuykendall. “I’ve never sought out a leadership role but have always been assigned or promoted to a leadership role. I will always step up when needed.”

In the letter, Kuykendall also explained he has been in drafting and design work since 1989, having served as a draftsman for Day-Bright Lighting and ITT Engineered Valves, where he was assigned to assist in many new designs.

He further details in the letter that he has also served as an engineer for Tiffin Motorhomes, where he oversaw several of the designs and floorplans, noting he is currently the drafting supervisor for FMI, a sister company to G&G Steel. His duties there involve managing the drafting department and making sure the drawings are correct, as well as ensuring all projects and jobs are released in a manner that allows time for manufacture and shipping.

He also overseas and manages the drafting, design and programming for Southeastern Commercial Fabricators, where Barry King is also employed. Kuykendall wrote that in all cases he is “hands-on and involved in the projects.”

“I will look for any opportunities that will improve or benefit the City of Phil Campbell,” added Kuykendall.

McQuary said he welcomes Kuykendall to the council. “We’re excited to get him on the council, and we look forward to working with him,” he added.

The council plans to swear in Kuykendall to his new role during its next regular meeting Oct. 4. The work session will take place at Phil Campbell City Hall at 6:30 p.m., with the meeting following at 7 p.m. Either Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore or Phil Campbell town clerk and magistrate  Virginia Burks will perform the swearing-in ceremony.