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Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017

City to probe utility rates, treatment of volunteers

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lewisburg leaders on Tuesday decided to pursue two investigations: one into water and sewer rates; and another on how some volunteers were treated during a Halloween event in Rock Creek Park near East Church Street.

Both concerns were raised during the public comment period as the council's monthly meeting came to a close. Robert Dalton said that after a "pushy" organizer unfairly criticized young volunteers, they were threatened with loss of credits for their service. And Bob Lowe again complained about people being charged for sewer service only because a pipe was close enough for a tap.

Mayor Barbara Woods offered to have more information gathered about the Halloween incident so city leaders could take the appropriate steps, and the mayor promised to pursue discrepancies that have attracted complaints from several people -- not just Lowe.

Also Tuesday, the council:

* Elected Chris Collins and Dave Kennedy to succeed Jackie Abernathy and Tommy Harris on the Industrial Development Board.

Councilmen Hershel Davis, Robin Minor and Odie Whitehead Jr. voted for Collins and Kennedy. Councilmen Ronald McRady voted for Kennedy and Mike Tankersley, and Councilman Quinn Stewart voted for Collins and the Rev. Steve Thomas.

* Voted 3-2 against meeting with a business that would provide interim city management as the council looks for someone to succeed former City Manager Eddie Fuller.

McRady, Minor and Whitehead voted no. Stewart and Davis voted yes.

Stewart suggested the council discuss the idea and the vote closed that door, leading to a special called meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday in City Hall, 131 E. Church St.

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Other important topics were addressed at the council meeting; including a bonus for the retiring city manager. It was pointed out that the city manager was not terminated or "severed" but retired.

It was stated that the city manager was well compensated for his work with a $70,000 salary and a home.

To avoid the definition of severed the wording was changed to bonus, in the amount of three months salary.

This bonus dollar amount was not disclosed. The bonus was referred to as money for Eddie Fuller to help advise the city during the interim period until a new city manager could come up to speed.

Council seemed reluctant to specify in detail what that help would entail. If there will be a clear instrument drawn out for these services is unknown. Without that instrument it would appear to be a gift, a bonus pure and simple. Council chose not to pursue talking with a private sector business that specializes in providing interim services.

The question of who would pay pending utility fines; the utility board ; out of their yearly budget; or be paid by the city outside of the utilities budget was mentioned.

In any case it still comes out of the taxpaying ratepayers pocket. My concern is why are we being fined. Who didn't do their job?

The question of the three minute citizen input was also brought up again.

It seems clear that this is not enough time and I believe should be put on the agenda for changing it to some extended amount of time.

-- Posted by CommonCentz on Fri, Nov 12, 2010, at 4:03 PM

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