NOTE: On this same evening, the BOE held a meeting in which they voted 4-1 (Angi Agle voted “no”) to fully reinstate transportation for all students, effectively suspending the “Parental Responsibility Zone” aka the walk zone upon full re-implementation which is expected to take up to 2 months.

The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the August 11, 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 most likely be posted at the city website as part of the September 2014 Regular Meeting Agenda packet.


Michelle Doka expressed concerns regarding the lack of crossing guards on this, the first day of school. The city manager provided an update that all but one position was on the verge of being filled with offer letters expected to go out shortly. I verified with our police chief that he is willing to accommodate unique scenarios in order to fill the crossing guards positions, i.e. volunteers, morning/afternoon shift splits, etc. I also inquired about the number of sexual predators living within the walk zone and urged our police chief to be proactive in assessing those situations. Subsequently, I sent the communication below to our city manager regarding the one remaining slot.

From: Trina Baughn
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 8:37 AM
To: Watson, Mark; Akagi James T.
Subject: crossing guards/Illinois/TP


A parent informed me that she counted 10 children attempting to cross or en route to cross this intersection Monday within a very brief window of time. Given that Monday was the first day we’ve not had a walk zone in many years, I fail to comprehend how we could have properly assessed student traffic at this or any other intersection.

Since it will take up to 2 months for the schools to fully reinstate transportation and since this intersection is a major thoroughfare with frequent accidents (I recall a statistic at one point in time of up to 26 wrecks per year), please reconsider how you are prioritizing this location.

Also, please let me know when applicants have been contacted with an offer.

VII. CONSENT AGENDA 5 items passed by unanimous vote

d. Resolution awarding a contract to Hydro Meter Service for water meter testing and repair services in the estimated amount of $30,000

e. Resolution awarding a bid to Graybar, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the furnishing of (3) 480 volt electrical switchgears for the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the estimated amount of $55,860


a. Approval of installation of a traffic signal on the OR Turnpike at the OR High School conditioned on approval by TDOE and execution of an MOU with TDOT assigning perpetual maintenance to the city.  Estimated cost of $200,000 to be funded from the Red Light Camera fund. Motion passed 7-0*

b. Approval to purchase and equip (2) patrol vehicles for up to $99,176 to be funded from the Equipment Replacement Fund. Motion passed 6-1 with Baughn voting “no”*

The basis for my vote: Within the last 9 months, council has approved an additional $1.5M in expenditures for the ORPD above their $6.3M annual budget including 8 new vehicles; we currently have a fleet of 45 patrol vehicles plus 18 other vehicles (6 SUVs, motorcycles, military vehicles, etc) with only 38 patrol officers; the following information which I requested last week but was not provided until tonight:

  1. How many non-operational vehicles does the PD have? 5
  2. How many patrol officers do we currently have? 38
  3. How many are on patrol at any given time? 6-10
  4. Are we paying for fuel and maintenance for personal use on the take-home vehicles? yes
  5. How many ORPD staff, including all sworn staff, have departed in the last year? 9
  6. What is the balance of the ERF? $1.2M

I note that the agenda packet states that we have 23 officers as residents and 22 as nonresidents. My understanding is that we provide take home vehicles only for those officers residing in the city.

c. Approval of an agreement with various consultants for as-needed engineering services for the electric department for an estimated amount of $85,000 Motion passed 7-0

 d. Authorization of the city manager to discuss the disposition of Clark Park with DOE officials

Motion amended to require 2 additional meetings that will allow for public input before the city manager makes a recommendation to city council passed   7-0*

Note:   For next month’s regular meeting, I asked the city manager to bring to council a rough outline of a timeline of steps that he would anticipate to occur for the entire process. Towards the end of our meeting, the city manager suggested that council allow our August 25th work session to be used for one of the public meetings. Informal approval was provided.


a. Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan’s Land Use plan to convert a parcel adjacent to Woodland Town Center from residential to general business. Motion passed 7-0

b. Amendment to rezone parcels and approve PUD master plan for parcels adjacent to Woodland Town Center Motion passed 7-0

c. Amendment to zoning ordinance impacting indoor and outdoor shooting ranges Motion passed 7-0

 X. FINAL ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES (first reading results found here)

 a. An ordinance amending Title 15, Chapter 5 to eliminate the option for violators of traffic laws in school zones to attend defensive driving and thus have the infraction possibly expunged from their driving record. Motion passed 7-0

b. An ordinance amending Title 15, Chapter 5 to require motorist to come to a complete stop at crosswalks in a school zone until a pedestrian has fully left the crosswalk; also requires pedestrians to use bridges and tunnels when available to cross a roadway. Motion passed 7-0


Invitation to Senior DOE Officials to Discuss Clark Park and other Pending DOE Issues – after a very lengthy discussion, my motion to send an invitation failed 3-2-2. Additional discussions to occur.

*Details of miscellaneous motions omitted but will be specified in the official minutes


  1. I have no problem responding to people who identify themselves. Please provide your name and verify that you are an Oak Ridge resident and I’ll be happy to reply.

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