Public interest in council’s Monday night closed session
By Stephanie Johns
The Madison City Council spent three hours in closed session Monday night discussing personnel, came back into the room long enough to resume the special called session and adjourned without discussing or voting on personnel.
During the closed session the council requested that former City Manager Charles Young speak with them. He was gone from the meeting room for approximately 10 minutes.
About a dozen people – city employees and members of the public – waited to hear the results of the closed session but left without learning what was said.
The council’s work session Monday afternoon included reviewing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) documents that City Planner Bryce Jaeck had prepared.
Jaeck said he had received no comments from the public and no comments passed on through council members.
He asked the Georgia Department of Transportation for and received an extension on their deadline, which is March 31, 2013.
He noted that Morgan County Planning and Zoning Director Chuck Jarrell continues to work on the county’s ADA plan.
Councilman Michael Naples asked about the city’s Title VI compliance officer. Title VI pertains to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Jaeck replied that selecting a compliance officer is “a whole other animal.” The compliance officer would be responsible for handling Title VI equality complaints. He noted that if a city did not have 20,000 people in its community, they could follow the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Title VI rules.
“For us, it’s more adopt a few documents, tweak a few contracts, and name a person to handle any Title VI equality complaints,” he said.
Naples said it would not hurt to have a compliance officer and that it would be wise to select someone.
Mayor Bruce Gilbert asked the council what they thought about naming Jaeck their compliance officer or would they rather have the city manager name a person as he sees fit.
City Attorney Joe Reitman recommended the latter option.
Reitman then updated council regarding the Dangerous Dog Ordinance and said that he and Animal Control Officer Cindy Wiemann had been “fine tuning” the language and have clarified or strengthened state law.
“After a couple of months of working on it, I’m happy with it as presented,” said Wiemann.
Reitman said the council will vote on the ordinance the second Monday in November.
Gilbert advised council members to take the ordinance and read over it.
The work session adjourned and the special called session began.
City Manager David Nunn recommended that council members approve a GMA lease/purchase agreement for a rear loader sanitation truck. The 2012 F-750 truck will cost them more than $106,000 in a five-year lease/purchase agreement.
Nunn said they have used the GMA program “many times in the past” and that it has “worked well” in their budget. He said they should get more than 10 years out of this truck.
Councilman Joe DiLetto said that the rate of interest was “not too bad.”
The council unanimously approved Nunn’s request to have the mayor sign the lease/purchase agreement.
As to the Georgia Power AMI Water Meter Reading pilot project for 300 meters, Nunn explained that there would be no cost to the city to have Georgia Power read water meters for a period of six months.
The city already has purchased the retro fit devices and the contractor will install those for the city, so there is a labor savings there as well.
He said that Georgia Power will concentrate on areas and subdivisions with no gas meters because gas meters would require them to set up separate accounts.
He noted that the pilot project will not only benefit the city, it gives Georgia Power and HD Supply, the company providing the equipment, the chance to prove out a couple of things on the billing side.
DiLetto noted that part of the process involves determining software problems. Nunn responded that Georgia Power has been trying out these meters at their test site for some time.
Councilman Whitey Hunt asked if the city was going to go behind and read meters, too. Nunn responded that they could.
Gilbert asked about spot checks and Nunn replied that they will do “whatever is necessary.”
Nunn recommended the council approve the proposal and the council unanimously did so.
Councilmen then unanimously appointed Michelle Watkins as Pension Committee Secretary.
Madison resident Laura Butler then reminded those present that there will be a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Morgan County High School cafeteria.
Printed in the October 25, 2012 edition