On Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, at approximately 5:30 P.M., the City of LaFollette held a council meeting in the LaFollette Municipal building. The intent of the meeting, as stated on the agenda, was to discuss a variety of ongoing plans, comments from citizens, and announcements. Also included in the meeting were ordinances and resolutions to the 2018/2019 budget, as well as changes in staff position among the fire department and police department.
The meeting was opened with a call to order by Mayor Mike Stanfield, which was followed with a prayer and pledge. The clerk called roll, and the discourse began.
First on the agenda was the the approval for the meeting minutes of April 2019. Approval was motioned, which was followed by a second, and the approval was carried. Next to be carried were the reports from boards, committees, and departments. After these approvals were met, comments from citizens were heard.
Mayor Stanfield started the topic with the suggestion of a ‘sock hop’ to be held for teenagers on a Friday or Saturday at a local school gym after the school term ends. He proposed to come up with a mix of drinks and snacks to serve. Mr. Bill Archer, a councilman, later echoed Mr. Stanfield’s request for entertainment for teenagers in Campbell County by asking about the possibility of the construction of more centers, such as bowling alleys or movie theaters. No definite plans were made, but the board was asked to look more into having this done.
In other citizen comments, Mr. Sharp, a citizen of LaFollette, complained of drainage problems on his land, which he claimed to be caused by the disposal of illegal substances by another citizen, years prior to the meeting. He also claimed to have witnessed the dumping of drugs on his land personally. He expressed a wish for the board to take action and view it personally, in order to make the decision to clean up the mess. However, City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries brought up records of previous investigations into the matter, which included the enlistment of help from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and spoke of tests for drugs that came back negative. This debate continued for some time, but no agreement on either side was reached. Mr. Jeffries promised to request the reports from the EPA to be available at the next meeting.
The final citizen comment came about the post office that the county purchased, in which the program Postmark holds different activities. The citizen thanked the board for their involvement in the purchase, as the projects and competitions make way for unatletic kids to shine amongst even the athletic in Campbell County. Mayor Stanfield commented on the grants being applied for on behalf of the post office, in order to continue fixing the inside of the old building, and keep the program going.
Announcements came next. First heard was the fire department, who announced that their new firetruck will arrive this Friday, May 10th. This preceded the announcement from Mr. Jeffries, who took the time to thank city employees for the work they put in cleaning up the area.
He also touched on an issue that took place during the last workshop, and verified that the board was in compliance on a vote that took place when a number of voting members were not present. Investigation was asked for, and Mr. Jeffries, with the help of a legal aide, confirmed that the voting reached, and was in line with, a quorum. He explained that a quorum is the minimum number of voting members needed to ensure that the voting is 100% legal, and as there were three out of five members present, the board was in compliance with the set rules.
Mayor Stanfield moved onto the resolutions of the 2018/2019 budget after the announcements. A motion was carried on the resolution on the amendments to the original budget, as well as the resolution on the government obligation contract dated as April 25, 2019, between Republic National Cooperation and City of LaFollette, Tennessee.
This turned the meeting to the fire department and the police department, who both wished to make changes in the positioning of some of their staff.
The fire department petitioned to promote Eric Sowanick, at a salary of $29,213.60, to a full time position, effective 05/11/2019. A motion was made from members, and was approved with unanimous agreement.
Likewise, the police department also wished to promote one of their staff, Darryl Chapman, from a part time position to a full one, at a salary of $32,580.00, effective 05/11/2019. This was also motioned, and approved with unanimous agreement.
In other ongoing plans, the board discussed the Safe Sidewalk grant, and stated that they are now waiting for the final approval from TDOT, after which construction will occur. Everything has been turned in and finalized in accordance to the grants, and after the approval is made, it will only take about six weeks thereafter for construction to begin. He also talked of waiting on approval from TDOT for the downtown grants, as well.
According to Jim Mullens, the street department manager in LaFollette, the Big Street Project/Cumberland Avenue is also awaiting the final approval of TDOT in order to begin construction.
The final business inquiry came at the end of the meeting, and discussed the drainage problem by the Corner Market, regarding how long it would take for construction to begin, and how much it would take of the budget, of which would depend on the of more details, such as pricing of pipes.
This successfully completed discussion on the agenda for the meeting, and without any further comments from citizens or members of the board, the meeting was adjourned. The next workshop is scheduled for the last Monday of May.