Macon County Chronicle

RBS Mayor Silences Director of Schools

Red Boiling Springs City Council members and Mayor Kenneth Hollis met during a special called meeting on Tuesday, December 28th, to discuss several topics carried over from the council’s last meeting, held earlier this month.

Up for discussion first, was ordinance #09-6, which would increase the garbage rate for three commercial customers, currently on a daily pick-up schedule, from $225 a month to $600 a month.

The three commercial customers affected by the new increase would include Bill Martin’s, Red Boiling Springs School and the Palace Care & Rehab.

City Council member Terry Newberry was the first to question Mayor Hollis on whether or not such a large increase, almost tripling the cost to such customers, was necessary.

“Does it have to be increased that much?” he asked.

“Well that’s basically what everybody else is at,” Mayor Hollis responded. “TDS and all them is doing it, so we need to be somewhere around that. Right now we’re taking a big hit on it. We’re paying to pick up their garbage.”

Councilman John Cook suggested that the council not jump to any rash decisions concerning the increase, adding that the city’s Sanitation Department should be evaluated as a whole.

“It seems likes we’re singling out three very important people in our community,” he commented. “ . . . I guess because they’re the only three that have daily pick-up. It seems like to me, with the five months ending, and we’re only down $220.34 . . . we need to take a look at the Sanitation Department from A to Z, and if we’re going to do any overhauling, let’s look at it from the beginning to the end and not just single out three customers.”

Mayor Hollis agreed with Cook’s evaluation of considering other aspects of the Sanitation Department, but emphasized that the three daily commercial pick-up customers were draining department funds.

Representatives from two of the three commercial pick-up customers concerned by the increase, were in attendance during the meeting; Red Boiling Springs School and Bill Martin’s.

“Mr. Hampton is here from the school board and Kay is here from Bill Martin’s,” Cook told Mayor Hollis.

“I mean the $225, we can’t make it go,” Hollis responded. “Last month we talked about $600 because that’s less than TDS.”

After suggesting that Mayor Hollis appoint a committee to “thoroughly look at this between now and the next council meeting,” Cook said, “I don’t know if you’ll allow Dan and Kay to talk tonight or not, but they can explain to you, on the spur of the moment, what this will do to their budgets.”

Giving no answer to whether each representative would be given the opportunity to speak, Hollis made the suggestion that the issue be tabled until next month’s meeting for further research.

“I would like to hear from them if they’d like to talk,” said council member Terry Newberry. “And get their input.”

But no sooner did Macon County Director of Schools Dan Hampton rise from his seat and begin to thank the council for allowing him to speak, did Mayor Hollis snap, “I didn’t let you speak!”

“We’re tabling it, we’re just going to wait,” he went on to say.

Before being silenced by the Mayor, Hampton intended on informing the council that the School Board would have a scheduled work session the following week, and he would bring up the garbage pick-up fee increase for discussion and return with the Board’s input at the next regular council meeting.

Appointed to the committee in charge of evaluating the Sanitation Department as a whole, were Brian Long, Terry Newberry and Mayor Hollis.

Next on the agenda was hiring a certified police officer with a 12-month probationary period, at a starting salary of $12.92/hr. and a $1/hr. increase at the close of the probationary period.

Red Boiling Springs Chief of Police Terry Tuck presented the council with the two applications received for the position, and suggested that they hire Cody Halliburton, who is currently a certified officer at the Clay County Sheriffs Department.

“We had two or three other officers in the past that lived in other counties. I did talk to him, and Cory said, himself, that he would possibly be willing to relocate,” Tuck told the council, who questioned whether hired officers had to live in the city.

“Neither one of them could drive a car home,” Mayor Hollis added.

The council voted unanimously to hire Halliburton as recommended by Tuck.

In other business, the council voted to:

-       Unanimously, purchase a used engine for the city’s backhoe, pending the results of a compression test, for $3,950 (installation cost included) and accessories (oil, filters, etc.) for between $300 and $400.

-       Unanimously, purchase a new electric salt spreader for $5,070.