City of Buchanan

Minutes

Minutes of Council Meeting

04/19/2010

Attendance:  Mayor:  Benjamin Biggers.

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

 

Department Heads:  City Clerk Karen King, Public Works Director Dean Tanner, Police Chief Paul Pike.

 

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

 

Mayor Biggers welcomed everyone.

 

Mayor Biggers asks Henry Bedford to give invocation.

 

Mayor Biggers asks Henry Bedford to lead Pledge of Allegiance.

 

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

 

Mayor Biggers asks to accept the minutes from March 9, 2010, called meeting minutes from March 12, 2010, and work session minutes from March 29, 2010 with change.  McKinley Pate made a motion to accept the minutes with change.  Patricia Cook seconded the motion.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

Public Participation:

 

Before beginning public participation mayor cautions public on rules of conduct.

 

Mayor Biggers asks Bill Anderson from (Solutions) to come forward.  Thanks the city for opening the one way street.  Bill Anderson requests a speed limit sign be posted.  Bill Anderson requests a crosswalk. 

 

Mayor Biggers asks Wendy Henry to come forward. Wendy Henry states that she does not agree with letter written by city employee endorsing Paul Pike as police chief.  Wendy Henry states she is concerned with the fact that the mayor did not return her phone calls.  Wendy Henry states that in regard to the veto it was an effort to get Paul Pike elected police chief and was a waste of tax payer’s time and money.  Wendy Henry states that the mayor raises his hand during voting and she feels this causes confusion.  Wendy Henry states that she urges council to vote again for the most qualified person for police chief.

 

 

 

Mayor Biggers asks Lane Ayers to come forward.  Lane Ayers states that he is holding official oath of office for mayor and council obtained by open records request.  Lane Ayers states that he is holding two records obtained by open records request.  The two records are from the two candidates at issue in question for the police chief position.  Lane Ayers states he has gone through the records and will start with Paul Pike’s records.  Lane Ayers states there were two disciplinary actions found in Paul Pike’s records. One states that police officer was serving five day suspension for cause at the time of resignation, could not find the cause.  Second disciplinary action states voluntary demotion not for a cause.  Lane Ayers states in regard to Tracy Lambert he will read the first page of the report and the last page of the report.  First page of disciplinary action states there will be an internal investigation of Tracy Lambert regarding hostile work environment.  Last page of disciplinary action states that Tracy Lambert allowed, participated, and encouraged public criticism of his police department with and in front of subordinates.  In Tracy Lambert’s file there are seven disciplinary actions, three demotions, one report states Tracy Lambert is not able to supervise properly, numerous transfers, complaint’s from fellow employees about leadership, complaint’s about poor judgment, tardiness.  Lane Ayers states that he would like the most qualified person for the police chief position.  Lane Ayers urges council to change their last vote and this time vote for the most qualified candidate.

 

Mayor Biggers asks Michael Wallace to come forward.  Michael Wallace states that he obtained records by open records request on the top two candidates for police chief.  Michael Wallace respectfully asked for mayor and council reasoning behind appointing any police chief that has a proven record for not being able to manage and supervise.  Michael Wallace states that he was informed by Mr. Hughes that he did not look at anybody.  Michael Wallace states that the previous appointment of Tracy Lambert is not in the best interest of this city.  Michael Wallace states that is made quite apparent with Tracy Lambert’s previous employment with the City of Carrollton.  Tracy Lambert’s record from the City of Carrollton reflects several actions including written reprimand conduct unbecoming an officer, reassigned to traffic division, would not train trainee would not allow trainee to ride in his car with him, written reprimand insubordination failure to supervise, allowed, participated, and encouraged public criticism of his police department with and in front of subordinates, suspension without pay for three days willful failure to follow policy conduct unbecoming an officer, one day suspension without pay, reduction in pay and pay grade, demotion from sergeant to patrolman, dereliction of duty neglect of duty.  Michael Wallace states that he has several sworn statement from officers at the City of Carrollton Police Department.  Michael Wallace states that Corporal Jamison Sailors states and I quote “he argues with his wife frequently over the telephone he has made the statement to me just shoot me or I’m just gonna kill myself, now is that who we want for the chief” end of quote.  Michael Wallace states that he asks mayor and council to please give him some kind of reasoning why Tracy Lambert is even considered a candidate for the position of police chief for the City of Buchanan.  Michael Wallace states that he is asking a question.  Michael Wallace states Mr. Hughes can you answer the question.  Kenny Hughes states no comment.  Michel Wallace states Mr. Pate can you answer the question.  McKinley Pate is silent.  Michael Wallace states Mr. Westmoreland can you answer the question.  Benjamin Westmoreland states that we have reviewed all that you went over and more, we have interviewed, and this council can decide who is best qualified.  Michael Wallace states Ms. Patricia can you answer that question for me please.  Patricia Cook is silent.  Michael Wallace states mayor Biggers can you answer the question.  Mayor Benjamin Biggers states he will do his best.  Mayor Benjamin Biggers states he tried to stay away from choice of police chief.  Mayor Benjamin Biggers states he went with City Clerk Karen King to retrieve open records on all candidates to make sure council had ample information and tried to make sure they had ample time to look at records and so forth.  Mayor Benjamin Biggers states he was accused several times of trying to slow things down.  Mayor Benjamin Biggers states that the council agreed to take their own actions in reviewing records.  Mayor Benjamin Biggers states that it is his job to make sure to the best of his ability that the rules are followed proper documentation is supplied ample time to look at records will be supplied.  Michael Wallace states that it is his understanding that some of the council did not even read the records.  Mayor Benjamin states that is his understanding all so.  Michael Wallace states he does not understand why Tracy Lambert would even be a candidate.  Michael Wallace states he would be glad to supply anybody even media who wants a copy.

 

Mayor Biggers asks Jana Gentry to come forward.  Jana Gentry states that today the doors on the library were open and any day that occurs is a great day in Buchanan.  Jana Gentry presents mayor and council with documents updating library happenings for the Month of April 2010.  Jana Gentry refers to article in the newspaper regarding a grant the library received. 

 

Mayor Biggers asks Janie Holder to come forward.  Janie Holder updates mayor and council on streetscape project.  Janie Holder introduces Brad Jones to give specific update on streetscape.  Brad Jones states construction continues and they are on the west side of the square now building the brick retaining walls.  Brad Jones states there will be a few adjustments to curb and gutter.  Brad Jones states they are on schedule and within budget.  Janie Holder states that the fair on the square will either be on the square or could possibly be somewhere else close by on May 15, 2010 and everybody is invited.

 

New Business:

 

Police Chief Position:

 

Before beginning new business mayor cautions public on rules of conduct.

 

Mayor Biggers reads open letter to members of council and to the public in reference to the police chief position (letter will be attached to these minutes in minute book).  Mayor Biggers presents council with copy of letter.  Mayor Biggers states that there are more copies for anyone else who may want one.

 

 

 

Mayor Biggers turns the floor over to council.  McKinley Pate asks if the mayor can reveal why the police officer resigned.  Mayor Biggers states that he does not know and is not sure that could be revealed in an open meeting.  Patricia Cook states that back in December 2009 she, Debbie Johnson, and Donna Johnson agreed in an executive session to give Paul Pike police chief salary upon completion of police chief training and Paul Pike has completed police chief training.  Patricia Cook states the city cannot afford to pay two police chief salaries.  Mayor Biggers states that he remembers that.  Mayor Biggers asks does any council member have anything to say about the police chief position.  Patricia Cook states if we are going to pay the man the salary he may as well do the job.  Benjamin Westmoreland states I think we’ve to go through a nomination here haven’t we.  Mayor Biggers states you can think about her statement she is obviously asking for us to respond to what she proposed.  Benjamin Westmoreland states he does not understand what she said.  Mayor Biggers states she is talking about former council agreeing in December 2009 to give Paul Pike police chief salary upon completion of police chief training.  Karen King states that Benjamin Westmoreland was not in attendance at that meeting.  McKinley Pate asks what is the police chief salary.  Patricia Cook states it is what Judy Parrish was making.  Mayor Biggers states that they would look into that and come up with the number.  Karen King states she believes it was 19.54 per hour.  Kenny Hughes states that if Paul Pike is not voted in as chief he will not receive police chief pay.  McKinley Pate states that he feels like whoever is elected police chief should receive police chief pay and no one else in the department should. McKinley Pate states that the pay issue should be discussed in executive session.  Benjamin Westmoreland states are we going to elect a chief here or just talk about it. 

 

Benjamin Westmoreland nominates Tracy Lambert police chief.  McKinley Pate seconded the nomination.  Mayor Biggers asks if there are any other nominations. 

 

Patricia Cook nominates Paul Pike.  There is no second nomination for Paul Pike.

 

Mayor Biggers asks for a roll call vote to appoint Tracy Lambert as police chief beginning with Kenny Hughes-for, McKinley Pate-for, Benjamin Westmoreland-for,

Patricia Cook-against.

 

Mayor Biggers states that the last time this happened no beginning date was stated and no salary was stated and he feels it is improper to indebt the city with a position without stating the indebtedness.  Kenney Hughes states that the mayor already stated the salary.  Mayor Biggers states no sir I did not and I find you in contempt.  Mayor Biggers asks officers to come forward.  City attorney Rob Monroe calls for executive session.

 

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.  Patricia Cook seconded motion.  Motion carried 4-0.

City attorney states for the record for the minutes that in executive session appoint of a police chief and salary of police chief and personnel matter were discussed.

 

Mayor Biggers asks for motion to set police chief salary at forty thousand with benefits to take effect immediately and police chief will be on one year probation with review in six months and one year.  Benjamin Westmoreland makes motion to set police chief salary at forty thousand with benefits to take effect immediately and police chief will be on one year probation with review in six months and one year.  McKinley Pate seconded motion.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Department Updates:

 

Mayor Biggers asks for the department updates:

 

Public Works Director Dean Tanner:

 

(1.) Explains water loss.  (2.) Presents mayor and council documentation of monetary losses for the water department for the last year stating that the main concern is the rental properties and asks to deter the problem by enforcing a vote that was passed in August of 2000 stating that property owners would be required to be responsible for rental properties deposit and water and sewage bills stating that if it would put too much of a burden on renters to go up on deposit.  Benjamin Westmoreland who has homes he rents states that the resolution here is easy raise the deposit give forty days to pay or cut the water off don’t put the burden on the homeowner who is just trying to make money stating that Georgia Power doesn’t, gas company doesn’t and the city shouldn’t, you are trying to make it easy on yourself all you have to do is read the meters give them ten days after the thirty days then cut the water off don’t know why you are waiting three months to start with.  Dean Tanner states that one reason is because back when he came here he was told that because of the U.S.D.A. loan the water department was require to wait two months and ten days before a service was interrupted for nonpayment he has now been told that U.S.D.A. has been called and asked why and they told the clerk that was not accurate that we did not have to wait however the water department is not in the rental business.  Benjamin Westmorland states that he is and other people in this city are.  Dean Tanner again states that the water department is not and if we go to three hundred dollar deposit on a renter that is a lot of money for them to have to come up with.  Benjamin Westmoreland states we will have to have a large deposit then and you are still putting the burden on the poor guy out here let the man pay his own bill I pay my bill they pay their bills.  Dean Tanner states the difference between the small water department and Georgia Power and the gas company is with them you go into a data base and it doesn’t matter where you go they collect their money.  Benjamin Westmoreland states he understands this and asks don’t you read the meters every thirty days.  Dean Tanner states yes sir.  Benjamin Westmoreland states you get a three hundred dollar deposit and give that  man ten days after its due there is no reason for the city to lose one cent.  Dean Tanner states whatever you all want to do if you don’t want to uphold the vote from August 2000.  Benjamin Westmoreland states he does not think the burden should be on the homeowner who is trying to make a nice living when the renter can put a deposit and the city employees do their job read the meter every thirty days I pay my bill every thirty days give a ten day extension is long enough for anybody to come up with their water bill and therefore there is no reason to do this other.  McKinley Pate asks what the amount of the deposit is.  Dean Tanner states it is one hundred and fifty for a renter and eighty for a homeowner.  Dean Tanner states the water department has several accounts that even if you go with a three hundred dollar deposit if it goes two months Benjamin Westmoreland states why is it two months.  Dean Tanner states that the water department was giving two months and ten days Benjamin Westmoreland states that is the problem right there needs to be turned off in forty days Dean Tanner states if that’s what you all want then I’ll draw it up and come to you next time with a proposal to raise meter deposits.  Benjamin Westmoreland states he doesn’t know why coming up with a deposit would hurt anybody he doesn’t think another hundred dollars will hurt that way it will cover the city Benjamin Westmoreland states if I don’t pay my water bill in forty days cut mine off.  Dean Tanner states on your rental houses the one you just rented the lady had left owing the city eighty three dollars Benjamin Westmoreland states well collect it then Dean Tanner states we did.  McKinley Pate states so it was voted on in August of 2000 to start collecting from the homeowners why wasn’t it enforced.  Dean Tanner states that he didn’t know it was in the minute book.  Karen King states that it was voted on but the city attorney at the time did not draw up a policy then the city changed attorneys and it never got done. 

 

Tabled to a later date.

 

(3.) Dean Tanner asks mayor and council give permission to drive his work truck home because he is on call twenty four seven this will be accomplished by mayor and council signing a document giving permission.  (4.)  Dean Tanner states that flowers on the square will be April 24, 2010 and says if any body who wants to donate should contact Ruth Clarke.  (5.) Dean Tanner says one of the city water customers (Brenda Robinson) has cancer and is not doing well and that the salvation army has helped with her bill and he asks that anyone who can help this lady should.  McKinley Pate asks if she is behind now Dean Tanner says yes two hundred and eight dollars McKinley Pates says he will pay one hundred right now Benjamin Westmoreland says city doesn’t need to do that it would set a precedent of individuals want to that’s fine but city does not need to be involved even though it’s a bad situation if you pay one you have to pay them all Van Brown says his church will pay the rest Benjamin Westmoreland says that is the way it should be done.

 

Mayor Biggers asks for a motion give Dean Tanner permission to drive his work truck home to use only for work use.  McKinley Pate made a motion to give Dean Tanner permission to drive his work truck home to use only for work use.  Benjamin Westmoreland seconded the motion.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Chief Paul Pike:

 

No update but would like to address mayor, council, citizens and visitors.  I will not stand here and defend myself but I’d like to have this opportunity to tell everybody here citizens, property owners, and business owners my work I feel like speaks for itself anybody that would like to see any of my reports my documentation on any case file I have I would be glad to show it to you make you copies of anything I legally can under open records act I believe even cases I start from initial report to investigative report to solving a case or not which ever is the case I document including the case Ms. Henry spoke of so if anybody would like to have any copies under open records act I’d be glad to turn it over to you.

 

City Clerk Karen King:

 

No update.

 

City attorney states executive session will be future acquisition of real estate and one matter of potential litigation.

 

Mayor Biggers asks for a motion to go into executive session.  Kenny Hughes makes motion to go into executive session.  Patricia Cook 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.

 

Mayor Biggers asks for a motion to allow Dean Tanner proceed and have engineer get started with grant paperwork and trying to get seventy five twenty five loan with U.S.D.A.  Kenny Hughes makes motion to allow Dean Tanner proceed and have engineer get stated with grant paperwork and trying to get seventy five twenty five loan with U.S.D.A.  McKinley Pate seconded motion.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

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