“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” – Thomas Paine
The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the April 14, 2014 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website as part of the May 2014 Regular Meeting Agenda packet.
Note: Mayor Beehan was absent
VII. CONSENT AGENDA 13 items passed by unanimous vote including item i. that Baughn requested removed
i. Resolution awarding a $898,362 contract to Rogers Group for street milling and resurfacing
Note: I requested the following information, provided by the city financed director, be included in the minutes:
31 Sealed Bids from Rogers Group were awarded over last 5 years for a total of $4,336,708; 11 Sole Bidder; 16 Bids won with more than themselves bidding; 4 Bids they were out bid
j. Contract award to Nedrow & Associates for two sewer replacement pumps for $67,000
k. Purchase authorization for a portable emergency generator from Nixon Power Services for $63,150
l. Purchase authorization for a replacement generator from Nixon Power Services for $37,985
m. Contract award to Irby Company for fiber optic project materials in the amount of $85,000 & contract to SE Power Corp for labor of project for $86,100.
Note: Regarding items j-l, prior to the meeting, I asked the city manager if these expenditures would have been requested were it not for the EPA A.O. His response: Yes, these pieces of equipment would have been scheduled for replacement, whether there was an A.O or not. The generators are extremely old (30 years) and have reached the end of their life span.
- Creation of an Adventure Tourism District in Oak Ridge Motion passed 6-0
- Amendment to the city’s contract with TDOT for street resurfacing as provided for through the Surface Transportation Program Motion passed 6-0
- Agreement with TDOT to install a traffic signal with geometric improvements at the intersection of HWY 95 and Bethel Valley Road Motion passed 6-0
- Contract award for two trained police service dogs and associated training for $33,000 (DOE funded) Motion passed 6-0
- Resolution removing Joseph Lee as a member of the Board of Building and Housing code Appeals and from any other city council appointed position Motion failed 2-4 with Baughn & Garland voting “Yes” and Hope, Miller, Hensley and Mosby voting “Nay”
Note: See the meeting video, starting around minute 50 for a complete transcript. I shared the emails I sent to our city manager and chief of police last summer containing comments that Mr. Howe shared with me directly and over a public Facebook page in which he overheard Mr. Lee’s comments at a council meeting, ”I overheard during a break: one of the more aggressive speakers from last night (one of those who was frothing at the mouth from anger at Baughn) basically offering to kill her…..” I stated that my vote came down to whether or not I wanted someone like Mr. Lee representing council on one of the most powerful boards in our city, the Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals, the only body in our city with the authority to order the demolition of private property and, with his vote, has done so dozens of times in recent years.
IX. PUBLIC HEARINGS/FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES
- Ordinance amending the FY2014 budget to allow the schools to use $454,940 of their reserves for the purchase of replacement bleachers at Blankenship Field Motion passed 6-0
- Multiple (12) amendments to multiple zoning ordinances including those pertaining to shooting ranges, business and residential permitted uses, transitional housing and off-street parking.
Prior to the meeting, the city manager pulled 1-4 from the agenda. A motion was made to divide the question was unanimously approved. All remaining items were passed unanimously. See agenda packet and full minutes for details.
Appointment of one Administrative Hearing Officer/adoption of resolution establishing the AHO salary
Hugh Ward appointed by acclamation