By CHRIS MENEES
A pair of items talked at length at last month’s South Fulton City Commission meeting were essentially put to rest Thursday evening.
A recycling service proposal for South Fulton residents is apparently off the table for now, while a resolution establishing procedures for the operation of city government in the event of a vacancy in the city manager’s position died for lack of a motion.
Last month, the commission heard a proposal from Barker Brothers and Republic Services, which was trying to make recycling more affordable for residents due to increased interest in recycling. Bryan Barker, division manager for the company, pitched an offer for a curbside recycling program for only $1 extra per month per residence.
Commissioners were told a majority of residents would need to participate in order for the recycling program to be made available, but after being asked about the possibility of South Fulton starting out more on a voluntary basis, Barker had suggested the company could offer curbside recycling if half the city’s residences signed up for the program — with the city to survey residents to gauge interest before deciding.
City manager Debra Craig said a majority of the residents surveyed indicated they would not want the recycling program. She said Barker had also since called her and indicated corporate did not approve offering the service to just half the residences rather than a majority.
Mrs. Craig said Barker indicated he could revisit South Fulton in the future as other cities join the recycling program and he asked city officials to keep an open mind toward recycling.
Another item held over from last month, the city manager resolution, was also revisited at Thursday evening’s city commission meeting.
Commissioner Jeff Vowell had presented a draft of the resolution at last month’s session. The resolution specifically outlined criteria for eligibility to serve as interim city manager in event of a vacancy in the position — specifically that no sitting member of the city commission, including the mayor, could serve dual roles of city manager and mayor or commissioner.
Mayor David Crocker had expressed concerns last month about the resolution going against what is established by city charter and he said precedent has typically been to appoint someone from the commission when a vacancy occurs. He also questioned why someone who is leaving the city commission would request the resolution and Vowell had replied that citizens do not elect board members to serve as city managers.
Crocker is not seeking re-election as mayor in the November city election, nor is Vowell seeking election to a full term on the commission. Vowell is currently serving out the remainder of a former commissioner’s unexpired term after being appointed in May 2011.
The commission tabled action on the interim city manager resolution at last month’s meeting in order to give commissioners more time to study the proposal.
Both Crocker and Vowell were absent Thursday evening from what would have been their final regular meeting as members of the commission. Vice Mayor Charles Moody presided in Crocker’s absence.
After Mrs. Craig read the proposed resolution Thursday evening, it died for lack of a motion from any of the commissioners in attendance — which included only Moody, Tony Perry and Thomas Pettigrew.
Moody later expressed appreciation for Crocker’s efforts during his term as mayor and said he “did some good things” despite some “ups and downs” along the way. He also expressed appreciation for Vowell’s efforts and said residents need to pray for the city as election time approaches, adding there needs to be unity in the city.
In other action during Thursday evening’s 20-minute session, which was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and with prayer led by minister Eddie Cassetty of South Fulton, the commission:
• Voted 3-0 to move forward with a bridge repair project which was started 12 years ago, pre-dating the current commission. Action on this matter had also previously been tabled by the commission.
The commission voted last month to authorize the city manager to correspond with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to get actual information and costs, in writing, so the commission could make a decision about a request to repay the city’s share of preliminary work from 2000 for the bridge repair project or whether to move forward with the actual repair work.
Perry noted Thursday evening that it would actually be cheaper in the long run to proceed with the bridge work rather than simply paying the preliminary costs and Mrs. Craig said it would also result in improved bridges. She has information about various payback options and spreading out the costs, adding there could be a budget amendment this year.
• Learned bids for sewer improvements will be opened Wednesday at 11 a.m., with a called commission meeting set for 5 p.m. Wednesday to approve bids.
• Was reminded the city has received a $250,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund grant to help fund what will be the city’s first park facility. Mrs. Craig said more information will be received Tuesday at a meeting in Jackson.
• Learned efforts are under way to repair some fire and police equipment recently damaged in a lightning strike.
• Heard an update on some water projects and repairs from public works director Wesley Joyner.
• Heard from Brenda Phillips, who is with a local humane society, in regard to the city’s efforts in response to a recent report of alleged animal abuse. She said the police department did an outstanding job and she also thanked Mrs. Craig for her assistance. Ms. Phillips said 10 dogs were rescued from a residence and three of them had to be euthanized due to their conditions.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 10.19.12