2022 - The Year in News
By Michael Butler
2022 was eventful in Tallassee. That might be the understatement of the year.
Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock stepped down after six years in office. Sarah Hill of the city council stepped in.
Hammock's bid for state office came up short. Approximately one month later, the mayor announced his intentions to resign from municipal office.
Tensions mounted between the council and Hammock when a resolution citing wrongdoing by the mayor and other city personnel was turned over to the state at year's end in 2021.
More turmoil was brought to center stage as the calendar turned to 2022 when Hammock was arrested on an allegation of domestic violence in Baldwin County.
Upon his exit Hammock stated, "It has been an honor and privilege to serve as mayor. I am proud of the work we have accomplished that has moved Tallassee forward with much needed infrastructure improvements, a new high school, public safety requirements and procurement of millions in grant dollars."
Linda Mosher assumed Hill's council seat. There were other personnel changes. Todd Buce took over as police chief. Trey Taylor became the city's building inspector. Megan Miller moved into the role as head of the recreation department after John Goodman left the position to return to work with Tallassee City Schools and take over the baseball program.
Former Tallassee mayor Bobby Payne passed away in January. He was 76. Tallassee's longest-tenured mayor served 20 years in the seat and another 12 on the city council. Tallassee historian Bill Goss also died in 2022. Goss was 92.
Dr. Melvin Russell hung up his stethoscope, retiring from Community Hospital in Tallassee with 53 years of service.
Neptune Technology Group celebrated its 50th anniversary. Two new restaurant chains opened in the city, Papa Johns and Taco Bell. There was debate over a proposal to restructure annual business license fees. At year's end the rate schedule remained unchanged.
Several multi-million dollar projects were in the works during the year. The brickwork on the high school is in place as contractors moved to the inside portion of the facility. Expectations are for a finished product by the end of the 2022-23 school year.
Work got underway on the downtown streetscape project. The state announced plans for upgrades to the Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge. Work will begin next year. And the cleanup of the east side mill property has begun with the Mt. Vernon Mills Transformation Project.
The Year in Sports
The Year in Pictures