City of Buchanan

Minutes

Minutes

CITY OF BUCHANAN

CALLED MEETING MINUTES

 March 12, 2010

 Attendance:  Mayor:  Benjamin Biggers.

Council Members:  Kenny Hughes, Benjamin Westmoreland, Patricia Cook, McKinley Pate.

Department Heads:  City Clerk Karen King, Police Chief Paul Pike.

 Mayor Biggers: called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

 Mayor Biggers welcomed everyone.

 Mayor Biggers asks to accept the agenda for tonight.  Patricia Cook made a motion to accept the agenda.  Kenny Hughes seconded the motion.  Motion carried 4-0.

 Mayor Biggers asks explains regarding public participation city charter states that mayor will conduct meetings in orderly fashion and that is what will happen here tonight.  Explains public participation will follow executive session.  Explains order of conduct will be as follows: Mayor will recognize one speaker at a time, each speaker will limit their speech to 5 minutes, each speaker is asked not to repeat what previous speaker has already said, no one in attendance will interrupt any speaker, no one in attendance will make degrading negative personal statements to anyone, if any rules are broken an officer will be asked to escort that person or persons from the building and charge them with disrupting a public meeting, disturbing the peace and anything else the officer thinks is appropriate.  Mayor Biggers asks all in attendance to prove that they can conduct business in an orderly manner.

 Mayor Biggers asks for a motion to go into executive session.  McKinley Pate makes motion to go into executive session.  Benjamin Westmoreland seconded motion.  Motion carried 4-0.

 Mayor Biggers asks for a motion to come out of executive session.  McKinley Pate makes motion to come out of executive session.  Benjamin Westmoreland seconded motion.  Motion carried 4-0.

 Public Participation:

 Mayor Biggers states that he has an announcement to make.  He feels this is happening very fast for lots of reasons.  Explains some of the reasons for the need for speed in this situation are as follows: (1) Police Chief training is held 2 times a year and one of those times begins on March 22, 2010, Paul Pike (one of the candidates) who was appointed acting chief and was doing the duties of the chief long before being appointed acting chief will need to attend the Police Chief training on March 22, 2010.  (2) Some council members feel that for a situation such as this all council members should be present (it only takes 3 votes to have a quorum), one of the council members (Benjamin Westmoreland) is about to go on vacation.

 Public Participation:

 Mayor Biggers asks Michael Wallace to come forward.  Michael Wallace states that he attended the regular council meeting on Tuesday March 9, 2010 and it did not appear that there was a rush to appoint a Police Chief.  Michael Wallace feels that as a citizen of Buchanan that proceeding at this time is underhanded. Michael Wallace states that he had applied for the police chief position himself and was not notified of a reason he was not selected in their process.  Michael Wallace states that he feels Paul Pike has done and would continue to do a great job as City of Buchanan Police Chief.  Michael Wallace understands that one of the candidates selected is not a resident of Georgia and further states that he would like for his police chief to at least reside in the State of Georgia.  Michael Wallace does not understand the need for a rush.  Michael Wallace does not understand why the City of Buchanan Charter was not followed as far as promoting from within.  Michael Wallace does not understand why some of the candidates that were selected were even allowed to apply for the position since they are already City of Buchanan employees who are currently on probation.  Michael Wallace does not understand why Personnel Policy was not followed as far as promoting from within and why council members had to go behind closed doors for discussion on candidates, further states that as council members they should be voting according to what their constituents   are calling for.

 Mayor Biggers asks Jay Westmoreland to come forward.  Jay Westmoreland states that being a former state trooper he knows how the law should be carried out.  Jay Westmoreland states that he has seen the problems with the former administration and feels that it is time for a change.  Jay Westmoreland states that if we were in the good old boy business then that might be alright but we are not.  Jay Westmoreland states that we are in the business of getting somebody in there that can be a leader and get their job done in a timely manner.  Jay Westmoreland states that he had to handle a theft situation himself as a state trooper since as a state trooper he could, he couldn’t get the city to do anything.  Jay Westmoreland states that we need a change, we need somebody is qualified and not be concerned with who is who and just do their job and do it in a timely manner.  Jay Westmoreland hopes that the council members will look for the most qualified person no matter where he is from.

 Mayor Biggers asks Lane Ayers to come forward.  Lane Ayers states that he was on city council for 8 years, mayor pro tem for 6 years and mayor for 4 months.  Lane Ayers states that he feels like what he has to say is very important.  Lane Ayers states that while he was on the city council they took a lot of time and effort to try to build morale in our city hall and our police department (not an easy job to do).  Lane Ayers states that he is opposed to anything that will destroy morale in our police department and our city hall.  Lane Ayers states that he personally feels that is exactly what is happening and we will lose good hard working employees.   Lane Ayers states that from the people he has talked to that morale is already gone.  Lane Ayers states that the council can see from the turn out of people at this meeting that they are not happy with what is about to take place.  Lane Ayers states that he feels like there is already a person qualified to step up and take the chiefs position.  Lane Ayers states that we are all going to make mistakes but we need to be man enough to stand up and say we made a mistake and correct that mistake.  Lane Ayers states that he is opposed to anything that will take Paul Pike out of the Chief position.

 Mayor Biggers asks Terri Parker to come forward.  Terri Parker states that he is not from Buchanan but has worked with Tracy Lambert the last 2 years and he is the most highly qualified officer he has ever worked with, Terri Parker feels that we may be underestimating the resiliency of our police department.  Terri Parker feels that it is just a matter of getting the right man in the top position.

 Mayor Biggers asks Mark Henry to come forward.  Mark Henry states he is part owner of the business with Jay Westmoreland where the theft mentioned earlier took place.  Mark Henry states that he told the investigating officer where the thief lived and asked him to go pick him up.  Mark Henry states that Jay Westmoreland handled that thief situation.  Mark Henry states that he does not want that for his family he wants to feel safe.  Mark Henry states that he wants somebody who will do their job and not be afraid they might offend somebody and just go do their job.  Mark Henry states he does not care where the chief is from as long as he will protect his business, home and family.

 Mayor Biggers asks Carolyn Ayers to come forward.  Carolyn Ayers states that she has never been failed by the City of Buchanan Police Department.  Carolyn Ayers states that for the Buchanan police to watch her house for her while she is away all she has to do is ask.  Carolyn Ayers states that while she was in Virginia she got a call from Buchanan Police Department letting her know that he neighbors home was on fire and that they were watching hers closely to make sure noting was going to happen and if it did they would call her back.  Carolyn Ayers states that there was an incident in her front yard where a man pulled up and accused her grandson of stealing a bicycle, she and her husband knew for certain that the bicycle belonged to her grandson so she called Buchanan Police Department, Buchanan Police Department responded in 2 minutes and the situation was resolved with the man admitting he must be mistaken.  Carolyn Ayers states that she feels safe and as far as she is concerned upon Police Chief Judy Parrish’ illness Paul Pike stepped in and did the Police Chief position even before he was asked to do the job. 

 Mayor Biggers asks Wendy Henry to come forward.  Wendy Henry states that it is time for a change.  Wendy Henry states that she is tired of the good old boy system.

 Mayor Biggers asks Debbie Johnson to come forward.  Debbie Johnson states that she was on city council and recently left.  Debbie Johnson states that she does not see that City of Buchanan Police Department is on the good old boy system.  Debbie Johnson states that she believes the police department employees have always done their job and that the employees did their job even when there were no raises.  Debbie Johnson states that she is concerned if there is a change of police chief that the citizens will not be protected and that employees will not be backed up.

 Mayor Biggers asks the council members for a nomination for the position of police chief.  McKinley Pate makes motion to hire Tracy Lambert as police chief.  Benjamin Westmoreland seconded motion.  Patricia Cook makes motion to keep Paul Pike as police chief.  Mayor Biggers asks if anyone needs more time.  Mayor Biggers asks if anyone else has anything else to say even after this vote.  Motion carried 3-1 to hire Tracy Lambert as police chief.

 Mayor Biggers asks for a motion to adjourn.  Benjamin Westmoreland makes motion to adjourn.  Patricia Cook seconded motion.  Motion carried 4-0.