Interview with Joseph Azbell
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

LET ME GET A SENSE OF WHAT THE CITY GOVERNMENT WAS, WHO WERE THE PEOPLE IN THE CITY GOVERNMENT AT THIS TIME?

Joseph Azbell:

Montgomery was governed by three men in a commission form of government and it was a mayor and two commissioners. The mayor was W. A. "Tacky" Gayle. He was a veteran, a general from World War II. He had been Colonel Gayle and then he advanced to General Gayle. Military type. Very sweet-natured man who was very kind to people, but he had been in politics in Montgomery all of his life almost. He had once been the public works commissioner. Then the other one was Clyde Sellars who was a very hard law and order segregationist. And then there was the third one who was named Frank Parks who was a Mason and a Shriner and a joiner and the forever joining things he would, anything that he thought would give him a vote. And that was our form of government, very simple system of government. We were in growing pains and they had the job of finding the money to take care of a growing Montgomery. But there were no blacks involved in city government except for the black—we didn't even have a black elevator operator at the jail in those days.