(11/25/2002)
Excerpts From The Minutes

Grantsville's town council meeting was lively as usual. Here are some highlights and a summary from the minutes of the November, 2002 meeting.

Questions came up regarding Halloween vandalism and the status of auxiliary police.

Paul Funk continued to request an apology from council members, with Mayor Knight making an apology.

Newly appointed council member Gaylen Duskey was questioned regarding his qualifications to serve.

Attempts made to settle a conflict between the Bonar and Toney family.

The State Auditor's office will be auditing the town's books from July, 2001 to July, 2002.

Concerns about a burned out house on Main Street which the owner received a $24,000 insurance payment.

A new ordinance is being proposed regarding the conducting of yard sales.

Issues came up regarding street improvements.

FURTHER SUMMARY OF MINUTES, NOVEMBER 4, 2002 MEETING Mayor Knight introduced JoAnn Stevens of the Hometown Country Christmas committee, with the event planned for December 4-6, with the town sponsoring and judging a window display contest.

Paul Funk asked why the signs at the office are small and why the blinds at the police station are always closed. He related incidents that happened during Halloween weekend. He felt if the blinds were up, police might be able to see or hear something.

Lorie Fleagle asked if she could speak about the blinds. She stated the Sheriff's Department keeps their blinds down for safety reasons. Rose Knight pointed out when they are interrogating or speaking with people who have complaints, this prevents other people from looking in.

Mayor Knight stated that what happened to the pumpkins was deplorable. The Boy Scouts spent their money and time to select, carve and set the pumpkin display on behalf of the town. However, he would not say what happened was a weakness of the police department.

Mr. Funk wanted to know how many Auxiliary Police Officers the town has, and what they can do legally. Mayor Knight replied there are four, covered by insurance, and are aware of their duties, and they know their driving privileges.

They are volunteers who come in after their full time jobs to help the police department and be a neighborhood watch on patrol. They have no set hours to follow. They come when they are needed. Mayor Knight pointed out that other municipalities have granted their auxiliary police officers the right to stop and detain individuals until police officers arrive, and they cannot make an arrest. At this time the auxiliary has not been granted that right. Mayor Knight pointed out that other town police departments have the same problems "our town people department has."

Mayor Knight wants whoever did that to the pumpkins be caught and made a formal apology to the Boy Scouts and make restitution to the Scouts, and make charges of vandalism.

Councilman Duskey applauded the courage of the scouts for putting the pumpkins back, stating he wanted the town to be more vigilant over future displays. Duskey proposed the idea of having students at the Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center make a sign for the office.

Paul Funk brought up a situation on South Side, Helen Johnson had written a letter concerning the problem. Pam Davis and Council Member Bonnie Brown spoke about it. Mayor Knight will have the police look into it and do whatever is necessary to correct it. (The problem was not disclosed)

Mr. Funk stated he is still waiting for an apology. Council member Brown commented he came to the meeting asking for an apology, which he did not receive (he received one from the Mayor, which he felt was not necessary) but wanted one from the parties who were responsible (apparently referring to two Council members). She (Brown) told Funk "He was told a mistake was made and he should not come to the meetings asking for an apology every time. The Council does not have the time since they have other matters to take care of.

(After a lengthy discussion) Mayor Knight told Funk it was the understanding of the Council they will not spend anymore time on it and this should be resolved between Mr. Funk and the two members individually.

Lorie Fleagle expressed concerns over Gaylen Duskey's qualifications to be a Council member. She asked if Mr. Duskey was a citizen of Grantsville and a registered voter. Mr. Duskey replied yes to both questions, She stated she could not find him registered in the County Clerk's office. There is concern whether he is registered for a city election.

Mr. Duskey will check on this and correct it if need be, said the minutes.

Brian Toney asked what was decided about Bob Bonar's parking spot on the street. Mayor Knight replied it is the "opinion of the council as reflected in the last meeting".... Mayor Knight felt he had made it very clear they (Toney's) understood they were not to take Mr. Bonar's parking pad. (The issue continued in a lengthy discussion) A motion was passed to leave the final decision on the dispute to the Mayor and the Chief of Police, allowing them to contact an attorney.

Dianne Ludwig asked about the burned out house on west Main Street, which is considered a hazard. The Mayor reported the owner claimed $24,000 after the fire. Knight reported the town does not have the funds for a lien to tear down the house. Ms. Ludwig stated financial assistance might be available.

The State Auditor's office has chosen Grantsville to be audited 2001-2002 at a cost of $5,300.

Mayor Knight reported he had sent a letter to the Lion's Club committing $200 for the Christmas lights.

The Council received the financial reports on the general fund, sewer fund, and water fund. The town is still operating within the budget. All departments received a memo not to buy anything that will cost more than the town can afford, until after the audit.

Bonnie Bird reported Eric Webb is checking on a wall-mounted heater for the office.

Mayor Knight read a letter from Gov. Wise concerning funding for the pool.

Mayor Knight stated Wal-Mart had donated two basketball backboards for the park.

Proposed ordinances set forth by Donnie Price regarding yard sales in the town moved forward.

Discussion by Council member Duskey regarding the pavement of streets, prompted Knight to say streets would be paved one at a time when money is available.

Council members attending, Marguerite Basnett, Bonnie Brown, Gaylen Duskey and JoAnn Shock, with recorder Phelma J. Wease. Others present, Kenny Whytsell, Paul Funk, Pat Starkey, Charles McCroskey, Brian Toney, Dianne Ludwig, Bob Groves, Warren Bassnet, Donna Starkey, Lorie Fleagle, Paige Toney, Steve Husk, Bonnie Bird, JoAnn Stevens, Rose Knight and Pam Davis.

SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS FROM OCTOBER 7, 2002 Excerpts From The Minutes

Before opening the meeting, Mayor Gary Knight addressed an issue raised in the September meeting concerning individuals who wanted to address the city council had to register and be placed on the agenda fifteen minutes before the meeting. He said the state cannot mandate a governing body to require pre-registration to speak.

He said, according to the minutes, "We maintain order in our meetings, where everyone is free and welcome to speak at the appropriate time on the agenda. There will be no impulsive or unsolicited input with the council unless otherwise called upon to do so by the mayor or council members."

Mayor Knight had three candidates to fill the seat vacated by P. Jane Wease after her appointment to Town Recorder. The candidates included Neil Blankenship, Lori Fleagle and Gaylen Duskey. JoAnn Shock made a motion to appoint Duskey, and the council approved him.

Paul Funk said he spoke to Donna Warfield at the State Attorney General's office, and she denied making statements that citizens and individuals had to register to speak. Mr. Funk stated in the September meeting he was not allowed to speak and "even told to shut up by a council member." Mr. Funk pointed out some street problems and problems with signs. He said the corner of Main and Court Street at J & B Drug Store was a hazard, suggesting a no parking zone. he also asked who was responsible for clearing the sidewalks in winter.

Mr. Funk discussed the burned-out house on west Main Street.

Donnie Price helped the Council develop a resolution regarding yard sales in the town.

Kenny Whytsell said the town does not have a charter on file, with a reply stating that Grantsville is a Class 4 town, and as such does not need a charter. "Our ordinance are in compliance with the State Code," he was told.

A discussion was held regarding the Christmas lights for the town, which the town does not own.

Mayor Knight brought up vacation pay for town employees, and how the town can buy vacation days.

Mayor Knight thanked Steve Husk and Charles McCroskey for picking up the trash when Bernard Harris was on vacation. The Mayor thanked Pat Starkey for running the parking meters for free.

A conflict between the Bonar and Toney families was discussed at length, regarding parking space.

Council woman Shock reported a guard rail could be placed at the ravine between Smith's Service Center and the Senior Center.

Problems regarding streets and repairs to the city building, discussed.

There was resolution on a non-working fire hydrant on Main Street.

A discussion was held regarding how to allow citizens to speak at Council meetings.


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