In less than 20 minutes, the Red Boiling Springs City Council voted to terminated Red Boiling Springs Assistant Chief of Police Doug McDonald, increase garbage rates and approve the drafting of an ordinance to increase water and sewer rates during a Special Called Meeting held on Monday, August 23.
After two recent suspensions, the council addressed the situation involving RBS Assistant Chief of Police Doug McDonald, voting unanimously (council member Billy Joe Carver elected to pass on the vote) to terminate the officer.
McDonald, who has been employed at the RBS Police Department for the last eight years, was present at the special called meeting.
“We had some problems, Terry called me and we put him on two-weeks suspension,” said RBS Mayor Kenneth Hollis.
“He was on a two-week suspension and myself and the mayor spoke, and the mayor was going to lift the suspension,” RBS Chief of Police Terry Tuck explained to the council. “I was to call Doug and let him know that, where he could come in and have a meeting with us to sit down and discuss things. I got a hold of Doug, and he refused to come in and meet with us. He didn’t think it would do any good, and I told Doug that kind of tied my hands, and I didn’t have any other option if he wasn’t willing to cooperate. He just told me I would have to do what I have to do so I’m here tonight to … Doug’s a good officer and I don’t know what’s going on. I hate to lose him…. I would ask that the council terminate him as an officer here in Red Boiling Springs.”
When asked if he would like to speak, officer McDonald, who was not in uniform, stood to address the council.
“I’ve enjoyed working here,” he began. “I love Red Boiling and I’ve enjoyed working for everybody here but the harassment by the Vice Mayor John Cook has just gotten to be too much for me to even come into work. When you start taking your job home, it’s time to find something else… I told him I’ve tired it, and that’s the reason.”
Cook did not respond to McDonald’s allegations during the meeting, but has since denied any harassment towards the officer. Cook claims that McDonald, in fact, has been harassing him with vulgar and explicit text messages.
Water & Sewer Rate Increase
After a water & sewer rate study performed by Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon, was presented to the council during a regular meeting earlier this month, a 30 percent increase was recommended to the council. During that meeting, council member Billy Joe Carver made the motion to instead increase water and sewer rates by 15 percent, with an additional 15 percent increase to be made next July. The motion, seconded by councilman Steve Newberry, failed with a vote of 2-2 (RBS Mayor Kenneth Hollis and council member Bobby Etheridge were absent).
During the August 23rd special called meeting, city council member Bobby Etheridge made the same motion – to draft an ordinance increasing water and sewer rates by 15 percent, and an additional 15 percent next year – to be presented and voted on at the September RBS City Council meeting. The motion was seconded by Carver and approved, 4-2, with councilmen John Cook and Terry Newberry in opposition.
Discussion was had before the vote….
“I have five water meters myself and it affects me just like it does everybody else,” said RBS Mayor Kenneth Hollis. “I don’t like it, but I just don’t know what we’re going to do.”
“Kenneth, I think where a lot of people’s train of thought is right now is that we’re not discussing any types of cuts, we’re just saying have a water rate increase,” Cook responded. “The school, the Palace, Nestle and the three hotels are going to be severely affected by this, and I don’t think people have a problem having a rate increase as long as you take a look at maybe where you can take some cuts before you do an increase. Fifteen percent, or thirty, is a big hit for these places.”
“It’s a big hit on everybody,” Hollis replied. “Things have went up since 2001 (when the last increase was made). Gas has went up, every chemical has went up, electricity is up. We should’ve been doing what Lafayette does, every year. It’s our fault for not doing it.”
Cook restated his stance on looking on the budget to figure where cuts could be made before instating an increase in order to “soften the blow”.
“Well the budget is set,” Hollis stated. “I don’t know what you’re talking about cutting. There may be places that you can cut … I think everything has went up too much to cut.”
The drafted ordinance will increase water and sewer rates in the following way:
Water - Inside City Limits:
First 2,000 gal. – $9.04 (minimum bill) – Increase of $1.18
Over 2,000 gal. per 1,000 - $4.17 per 1,000 gal. – Increase of .54
Water – Outside City Limits:
First 2,000 gal. – $13.57 (minimum bill) – Increase of $1.77
Over 2,000 gal. per 1,000 - $6.26 per 1,000 gal. – Increase of .82
Water – Commercial & Industrial Service:
Each 1,000 gal. for first 2,000,000 gal. - $5.46 per 1,000 gal. – Increase of .71
Each 1,000 gal. from 2,000,000 gal. to 5,000,000 gal. - $6.56 per 1,000 gal. – Increase of .86
Each 1,000 gal. over 5,000,000 gal. - $7.87 per 1,000 gal. – Increase of $1.03
Sewer – Inside City Limits
First 2,000 gal. - $11.50 (minimum bill) – Increase of $1.50
Over 2,000 gal. - $5.75 – Increase of .75
Sewer – Outside City Limits
First 2,000 gal. - $17.25 (minimum bill) – Increase of $2.25
Over 2,000 gal. - $8.63 – Increase of $1.13
Garbage Rate Increase – Ordinance #10-8
After nearly nine months of debate, the second and final reading of Ordinance #10-8 was approved by the council with a vote of 4-2, increasing garbage pickup rates for all customers. In opposition to the ordinance were council members John Cook and Terry Newberry.
The ordinance will go into affect on September 1, 2010 and includes the following new price list:
Residential Rates inside City Limits (1 pickup per week) - $11
Residential Rates outside City Limits (1 pickup per week) - $15
4-yard dumpster – 1 pickup/wk: $60, 2 pickup/wk: $120
6-yard dumpster – 1 pickup/wk: $90, 2 pickup/wk: $180, 3 pickup/wk: $270
8-yard dumpster – 1 pickup/wk: $100, 2 pickup/wk: $200, 3 pickup/wk: $300, 4 pickup/wk: $400, 5 pickup/wk: $500
10-yard dumpster – 1 pickup/wk: $130, 2 pickup/wk: $260, 3 pickup/wk: $390, 4 pickup/wk: $520, 5 pickup/wk: $650