After a heated discussion about recently circulated city employee embezzlement rumors, the Red Boiling Springs City Council voted to contact the state comptroller’s office during its regular session meeting on Thursday, Oct. 9th, to request an estimate for a city audit.
While the city employees in question deny the allegations against them, the council elected to survey the cost of a comptroller audit to put an end to the rumors.
“I just want the phone calls to stop,” said council member Shelly Dean during the meeting. “We need to either find it (with an audit), or put it to bed.”
RBS Mayor Kenneth Hollis stated that “the city has a state audit coming up soon,” but Dean later requested that the city go through the comptroller’s office instead of using the city’s regular independent auditor John Poole. City Recorder Coby Knight will be collecting the information to present to the council next month.
The rumor was addressed by a family member of one of the accused city employees and former RBS Mayor John Cook, who was listed on the agenda to speak during the meeting.
“Each of you have either been appointed or elected to serve this town, and there’s a lot of talk going around town that you have three employees that are being accused of embezzling money,” he said. “Any reasonable person would know that this is outrageous talk in the community of Red Boiling Springs, and these three employees that work for the city do not deserve for people to be walking around, accusing them of embezzling money from the city. I think the council should have the city attorney look into it and protect these employees . . .”
Council member Ray Bilbrey, who did not agree with allowing Cook to speak, though he was on the agenda, responded.
“I don’t care what somebody says about me or writes about me,” Bilbrey said. “If I can’t stand the heat, I need to get out of the kitchen. Now, if our employees are guilty of something . . . they need to get out of the kitchen. I don’t like to listen to it.”
“If you’ve got employees being accused with embezzlement it should be your duty to find out if it’s true or not . . .” Cook replied.
Jack Pelham, the creator of the Spring Cleaning website, which openly accuses the RBS government of wrongdoings, and Cyclemo’s owner Mike Silvio were also given time to speak during the meeting.
Pelham questioned Knight about information he requested in a letter to her, to which he was told he could come get at city hall.
Silvio, who thanked the council for the city’s support during Cyclemo’s recent motorcycle show, also questioned Mayor Hollis about his whereabouts over the past few months. Hollis responded that he “has been working.”
In other business:
* A $4,945 bid was accepted by the council for the purchase of an air compressor for Sabin Spring.
* An Identity Theft Policy required by the state was adopted.
* Ordinance 08-3, Nestle’s RO water, was tabled until Nestle contacts the city.
* Ordinance 08-8, Sewer Pretreatment, was adopted on first reading.
* A bid of $1,949.25 from Quality Outdoor Products was accepted for the building of a shed over the natural gas pumping station. The project was a recommendation of the city’s insurance company.
* A motion was made to purchase a new city video camera or repair the current one, which is currently broken, depending on the cost of the repair.
* New members of the RBS Fire Department were accepted: Jimmy Morgan (Asst. Chief), Randy Hagan (Asst. Chief), Brian Holt (Lieutenant), Jesse Gentry (Secretary/Treasurer), Dan Smith (Captain), Billy Joe Carver (Lieutenant) & Josh Watson
* Approval of Mary Pryor and an assistant to remap Whitley Cemetery
The Red Boiling Springs City Council meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the RBS City Hall.