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WF Council’s April Meeting

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April 18, 2012 by Steve Winkler

The April council meeting started with a couple of bangs when during the approval of the agenda portion, city attorney Tom Kieklak said he had the draft of a Resolution to reimburse council members for attendance at regular and special council meetings ready. The subject has not been before the council in several years. A motion was made by Rodney Drymon and seconded by Misty Caudle to place the item on the agenda.

Kieklak told the council that the Resolution was written at the request of Drymon and Caudle. He told the council that it is “ubiquitous that councils reimburse” itself. A discussion later in the meeting revealed that the resolution calls for a member to receive $150 per each regular meeting. Kieklak noted that “Members don’t have to take the reimbursement; they can donate it to a project such as flowers for the garden or books at the library.” A budget adjustment would be necessary. Mr. Drymon’s motion failed — two in favor, three against, three absent. Mrs. Wright moved to put the item on the next agenda.

The second bang came during the Utility Department’s report, when water commission secretary Mike Mitchell and Superintendent Bartholomew were questioned by both Joan Wright and Tom Kieklak regarding why, nine months after agreeing to have a five member commission there are only four.  Mitchell and Bartholomew took turns explaining that the law states they can have 3-5 members.  They said they saw no need to advertise for another member, four is enough. However, that decision is not reflected in any commission minutes, said Mitchell.

“You don’t know how many members you have on the commission?” asked Kieklak. He advised them that the state likes odd numbers to avoid ties when voting. Mitchell said the commission would change the bylaws to say it is a four member commission. The council cannot add a commissioner but does have the authority to remove a commissioner.

Joan Wright requested information about individual activities of police officers.  Chief Nelson responded he had that information and it can be reviewed but said he preferred to not make it public so there is no competition.

City Treasurer Kristie Drymon’s resignation as acting City Clerk was accepted and she was thanked for her service. Mayor Hime told the council that only one application for the clerk’s position has been received from someone within the city limits, a requirement for the job.  A discussion ensued regarding rearranging some of the job duties among Treasurer, Clerk, Utility Supervisor, and Mayor.

[Editors note: The Observer’s understanding of this modification of job descriptions isn’t sufficiently clear to relate it to readers. Due to a technical failure there is no recording of the meeting.]

What was expected to be a routine approval of the Planning Commission action to rezone property on Centennial Ave. owned by Mike Mitchell  was derailed when Misty Caudle questioned the placement of the ingress/egress.  A voice vote to approve the ordinance by reading by title only failed. The ordinance was read in full by the city attorney.  It will be read for a second and third time at the May council meeting. The property is included in long range master plans as being designated for commercial use.

Jackie Bonner was approved to serve on the Planning Commission.
The website committee is holding meetings. Joan Wright reported that a mission statement has been developed.
Mayor updated the council on Washington County’s Code Red project. For information about the emergency notification system  Click Here.
Mr. Bartholomew reported that while it is a common practice to cut the middle out of a speed bump for kids on bikes and motorcycles, the removal of half the bump on Pleasant Street was not done by the city. He said it was reported that someone with a pick ax removed a portion of the bump in the wee hours of the morning.
Council members Lowry, Shafer and Foster were absent. The meeting adjourned at 9:10.
By Steve “Speedbump”  Winkler

Steve Winkler

Steve Winkler is the publisher and editor of the Observer. Email him at steve@wcobserver.com

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4 comments »

  1. […] emergency vehicles and also resulting in slower response time. At the April council meeting it was reported  that “while it is a common practice to cut the middle out of a speed bump for kids on bikes […]

  2. Bob says:

    how can the Water Commission vote on something with four members? it seems their doing what ever they want any way and not being held to answer for it. 9 MONTHS is to long not to have a 5 person. The City Council needs to hold they feet to fire and do whats right.

  3. Susan Cooney says:

    It is so odd to me that the Water Department is financially connected to the City of West Fork and can hurt the City’s finances, but our City Council has zero input on the expenses of the Water Commission or the efficient running of the Water Commission. Why is the Water Commission stopping at four members? I’m sure there is some friend of the people of West Fork that would be acceptable to the powers that be at the West Fork Water Commission. The City of West Fork seemed to believe that the Water Department was completely separate from the City of West Fork. We learned at the beginning of 2011 that the Water Department can very adversely affect our Town and that the Water Department is very much a part of the City of West Fork. Why then can’t West Fork City Council have any affect on the Water Department. I wish we could have an “ask the City Attorney” portion of the Observer.

  4. Susan Neyman says:

    Mr. Winkler-

    Your report on government meetings for the City of West Fork seem to be more of an editorial than news reporting. A recent example, “…started with a couple of bangs” is your opinion of the meeting and therefore subjective. Perhaps the title of your report should be called “Opinion Page” or “Editorial” instead of “News from South Washington County.” Just something to consider that may enhance your readership and credibility in the community.

    Best-

    Susan Neyman

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