FAIRHOPE - CATALYST a Dirty Little Secret

The Fairhope City Council is an “at Large” elected Council. Each of the members of the Council is deeply connected to the machine named for now, Catalyst; some by blood. The present council was hand-picked for the last election by the former Mayor, Tim Kant. They were a slate of Catalyst candidates, who had pledged their loyalty to Tim; who lost to Mayor Karin Wilson when we demanded the head of the legal division for the Elections Department drove down and oversaw the election, allowing for the first legitimate election in decades.


Sorry folks about being late for Wonderful Wednesday, which is now FREAKY FRIDAY but I have been in Facebook Jail for three days. The Ripp Report pushed someone’s button and they complained to…

Source: rippreport.com/2018/04/20/catalyst-does-fairhope/

This council will NEVER vote for districts and will do everything possible to stop that from happening. They are lying to the public; they got caught. What happens next is their undoing.

Fairhope council votes to file injunction against Oct. 2 referendum - Lagniappe Mobile

Fairhope council votes to file injunction against Oct. 2 referendum - Lagniappe Mobile

Four Fairhope city councilors effectively undermined the intent of more than 1,000 residents last night by voting at a special-called meeting to file an injunction that could delay or even nullify an Oct. 2 referendum on a new form of government. The council claims it received a preliminary opinion from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s …

Source: lagniappemobile.com/fairhope-council-votes-to-file-injunction-against-oct-2-referendum/

The most obvious reason for Fairhope to change the form of Government and to go to districts is the present council members. Watch the meeting and see if you think the “At Large” system is working! Districts will take out as many as 3 or 4 of the present Catalyst Council members, which is, in itself, reason enough to go to districts.

This Catalyst City Council did nothing to inform the general public as to the details of the proposed change of Government. Why? Because they thought they had control of the issue and they, The Catalyst Council, would make the decision of districts or at large. They wrote a letter and waited in silence while Fairhope First pushed ahead with their related petition, which created more questions than answers.


I could smell the skunk through my computer, the first time that I read, Chuck Zunk, was agreeing with the Mayor of Fairhope, on the Council-manager form of government. Mr Zunk was appointed to the…

Source: rippreport.com/2018/06/22/zunk-the-skunk/


What started out to be a “Fresh Start for Fairhope” has turned into a political PAC raising money and preparing for the 2020 Fairhope Municipal elections. All their talk and advertising promotes a…

Source: rippreport.com/2018/08/24/skunked/

The Council stayed silent, until yet another special meeting was called, again at the close of a workday around 5:00 p.m. on a Monday–for a Wednesday meeting. The City Attorney is now going to be paid your tax dollars to research the entire issue, 11 days before the special called the election to be held Oct. 2, 2018. Councilman Jay Robinson, an attorney, as well as the council President, Jack Burrell, did nothing to clarify any facts with the Attorney General, prior to the meeting. Mr. Burrell stated he had Nick Saban’s cell phone number on speed dial; but did not know the Attorney General’s phone number. That was their excuse and all they had to do was go to face book or the Internet to get the number. They chose not too—out of laziness and sheer stupidity.


Council person Jay Robinson told the crowd that if, “everyone left the meeting unhappy then he was doing his job.” That is a Catalyst slogan if I ever heard one! Jay, remember, is an attorney. He did not pick up the phone and get the opinion that would have informed him and Jack about the district language. He was lazy. He figured he knew the law. He is now responsible for this mess.

Fairhope Fresh Start distributed an Urgent Message 9/19/18

Fairhope Times

The Fresh Start for Fairhope group seeking to reform what they see as the city’s hopelessly dysfunctional government believes the city council has been secretly plotting to deny citizens a chance to vote on their proposal. (The group’s spokesman, Chuck Zunk, was chairman of the city’s Financial Advisory Committee and Airport Authority for several years. Website: http://freshstartfairhope.com/index.html#menu1-0 ) A special council meeting is scheduled for today at 6PM on the matter. Fresh Start Fairhope’s Statement from Chuck Zunk: ** Urgent Update 9-19-2018 ** What’s the urgent news?Over the past weekend a majority of City Council Members came to the same conclusion that we did, which is that the October 2nd referendum to change to the Council-Manager form of government in Fairhope is probably going to win by a large percentage. But these same Council Members - who are opposed to the Council-Manager system - have now decided to use their council votes to try to take away our right to a fair and honest election. Here’s what they’ve done so far…

Having decided to try to kill the referendum, this group of Council Members called a Special Meeting of the City Council (agenda attached) for tonight at 6:00 p.m. to hire a law firm to find ways to go to court before the election, seeking a Temporary Restraining Order from a circuit court judge to cancel the October 2nd election. What are they going to say tonight?

The Council Members are not going to say very much tonight because most of the dirty work has already been done behind closed doors. Expect a very brief meeting. But here’s how they are going to sell it to you tonight in an effort to cover up their true plans.

  1. They are going to tell you that they are seeking legal advice only to be sure the October election is “valid”. But that’s not true. The Council has known about this election for three months, and nobody believes they are so incompetent to not already have all the legal advice they need on this issue – weeks and weeks ago. No, the legal advice they seek now is specifically to stop the election from taking place.

  2. They are going to tell you that they are seeking to delay the election because of concerns of misinformation and transparency. But that’s not true. If information and transparency were truly a concern of the Council Members then ask yourself why - over the last three months - did the City Council not sponsor even one non-partisan workshop or town meeting so that all voters could become better informed about the most important issue to be decided in Fairhope during the term of this City Council? Other cities who have voted on the Council-Manager system have done this, but not Fairhope! There have been public meetings to talk about back-in parking in downtown, and public meetings to talk about goose poop on the beaches, but no public meetings to talk about improving the future of Fairhope with a better system of government. So now the Council wants to take advantage of their own lack of communication and initiative by using “misinformation and transparency” as a last minute excuse to cancel the referendum!

  3. They are going to tell you that they are only seeking a delay of the election, not to cancel it completely. But that’s not true. They are seeking delay because that’s all they can reasonably expect to do between now and October 2nd. But their real goal is to cancel it by using the delay as the first step. The Council Members also know that all the Fresh Start Fairhope momentum and money is already tied up in promotional activities scheduled for the week immediately prior to the election, which will all be wasted and very difficult to recoup if the election is delayed even on a week or two. To delay the election is to kill it! In summary, what you are going to see and hear tonight is the City Council trying to put lipstick on a pig, so don’t watch the lipstick - stay focused on the pig. It’s not what they say tonight, it’s all about how they vote!

What next?

Personally, I am going to fight this attempted theft of the election root and branch, at Council meetings and if necessary in court. But this is a grass roots movement with hundreds of voters already deeply involved, and I’m only one of over 300 people on the FSF supporters’ email list and only one of over 800 petitioners whose rights the Council is trying to take away for their own private political purposes. What are you going to do? Thanks for all your support and hard work, FRESHSTARTFAIRHOPE.COM Fresh Start Fairhope Fresh Start Fairhope - exploring ways to improve our city government

Fresh Start Fairhope had problems in the beginning with facts, however they corrected those errors, only to be misled, deliberately, by the Council. Congratulations to Fresh Start Fairhope for all their hard work.

Over 1000 people have signed petitions for a change of Government. That is the only issue that will be voted on for October 2, 2018. If that passes we go to districts in 2020. Which is exactly what Fairhope needs to do! Get the vote out!

The Catalyst Council never made a statement or offered any information to the public for the last four months. They even filed a complaint against the Mayor, who was trying to inform the public. The Mayor’s information never changed; she explained that it would be districts, only to have the Council try to silence her and others, insisting—as always that they knew better. Well not this time boys. You should have listened to the mayor! The same Catalyst Council and the same City Attorney firm did nothing to enforce their own ordinances.


Never Ever give up. The Ripp Report has been reporting, and going to court, related to the Publix project before the Mayor or any of the Council were elected in Fairhope. The present council refused…

Source: rippreport.com/2018/09/05/victory/

The Council and City Attorney sat back and remained silent while the Council President refused to even allow a citizen, yours truly, to even speak.


PRESS RELEASE:FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION December 29, 2017 CONTACT: Francis P. Ripp Local Political Activist, Consumer Advocate, & Blogger Files Federal Lawsuit Against Jack…

Source: rippreport.com/2017/12/29/see-ya-in-court-jack/

If Fairhope goes to a Mayor/Manager District form of Government then the present City Attorney and Municipal Judge should be replaced in 2020 or as soon as possible.


I have followed four Fairhope city councils and one thing I can tell you is with each new council several things became abundantly clear. The new members of the council are usually influenced by…

Source: rippreport.com/2016/11/25/you-dont-know-jack/

Fairhope City Council is in goosestep with one another and have supported the Airport Authority over the City’s best interest. Fairhope taxpayers pay for the Fairhope Airport but the Council supports the Authority holding the title, that’s a Catalyst move.