November 29, 2020

Franklin Unable to Make Water Authority Appointment; Council Approves Previously Rejected Training Costs

The Franklin City Council assembled at city hall last night for its January meeting. Councilman Johnny Adams was not in attendance due to medical reasons.

The city attorney David Mecklin gave a relatively brief invocation which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

The board approved the minutes and the order of the agenda. During departmental reports Chief  Kevin Hannah informed the council of a grant in the amount of $11,190.04 that would be arriving soon.

The board also approved the purchase of new equipment and cameras for the new patrol car. According to Hannah the new vehicle should arrive sometime within about 90 days. Mayor Chapman commended Hannah for the extra hours he spent installing several new security cameras at City Hall.

Alan Holcomb of the street department presented the council with a price of $2099.00 for a salt/sand spreader to help clear the streets in the event of icing problems. The council unanimously approved this purchase which would come from the SPLOST fund.

The attorney David Mecklin then gave his monthly report. In response to a December meeting discussion about a burned down property on South River Rd., Mecklin said he was working on new mechanisms to be put into place that would apply to any and all substandard properties in the city.

Councilman Jimmy Hamil released the name of the property owner as well as some other information.

“I talked with George Shelnutt (the property owner) last week and he says that he has an attorney hired and it’s in litigation about the gas company possibly being responsible,” stated Hamil.

Mecklin replied that he would take that it into consideration and again emphasized the need for changes in the process and codes overall and not just as it relates to that one particular instance.

Mecklin then asked the board to consider appointing a council member as an alternate presiding officer in the absence of the Mayor Pro Tem. He stated this would not be a replacement for Adams as Mayor Pro Tem, but merely someone who could act as a presiding officer if necessary in case of any absences of Mayor Chapman.

Councilman Hamil motioned to appoint Councilman Shane Manders to this position. Almond gave the second and the council approved 3-0 with Manders abstaining.

The council also approved (for the record) the appearance of Manders on behalf of the city during the PDMP (Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan) vote at the county commission meeting last week.

There was no old business on the agenda and a speaker from Paxen Learning who was on the agenda under new business was unable to attend the meeting.

The next item on the agenda was the city appointment to the Heard County Water Authority Board as the term of Joel Rogers has expired. Mayor Chapman stated that Joel Rogers had sent in a letter defining his interest in remaining on the HCWA Board and she had also received a letter of interest from another citizen Morris Shelnutt.

Mecklin interjected to explain to the council that even in the absence of Adams a nominee would still need three full votes to be appointed. Councilman Jimmy Hamil made a motion to appoint Morris Shelnutt to the HCWA Board.

Hamil: “I make a motion that we appoint Morris Shelnutt. Morris has come to me and showed interest. I been knowing him all my life… nothing against Councilman Rogers… but Councilman Rogers is a councilman and he has a full-time job. Morris is retired.

He has well knowledge of heavy equipment that the water authority uses. He’s used it himself. He’s also a very successful business man.

The water authority needs a little more help on the running part of it because of the possibility that we may have a raise in our water and sewage bill. That’s what a lot of people don’t want. I think Morris would do a good job.”

There was no second to Hamil’s motion. Councilman Almond then motioned to reappoint Councilman Rogers to the position.

Almond: “I make a motion to appoint Rogers … the only reason being the way the water treatment plant is running strong. Everything seems to be going good.

Mr. Rogers lives inside the city limits and I want us to keep looking at people that live inside the city… Also I believe they are getting ready to work on another big city project and I would like to see it get off the ground.

Mr. Rogers has played a big part in it and the water treatment plant and I would like to keep him on at this point… for right now…  so I am making the motion that we let Councilman Rogers stay on the HCWA board… for right now.”

Councilman Manders gave a second to the motion and the vote was 2-1 with Manders and Almond voting for Rogers and Hamil voting against. (Rogers abstained from the vote)

Mecklin stated that due to the lack of three votes Rogers would remain on the board as of now until the council has another opportunity to convene with all members present or until a nominee receives three votes.

The final item on the agenda was a discussion of training for elected officials. The Mayor advised that Councilman Almond had asked for the discussion to be added. The council had previously decided in an effort to cut spending that no members or the Mayor would attend any training this fiscal year.

Mayor Chapman advised the council that she had been asked by the Georgia Municipal Association to do a presentation about the parks and walking trails in the city at the upcoming Mayor’s Day Conference which will be held in Atlanta at the Atlanta Hilton January 21-23, 2012.

Councilman Almond stated that he would like to see the city council get more involved in the training programs.

Councilman Manders told the council that he did not want to go back on the recent decision and that he felt the council should stick by their decision for better or worse.

Rogers and Hamil both stated they did not want to attend any training this year anyway. Hamil motioned to allow a $2500 each training allowance for  Councilman Manders, Almond, and the Mayor at a total of $7500 to be allotted from the money market account.

The council approved the motion. On motion and a second the meeting was then adjourned after no executive session was necessary. The council’s February meeting will take place February 2, 2012 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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