April 13, 2006
New City Officials Sworn In At April 6th Council Meeting
The newly reorganized Memphis City Council had a relatively light agenda for the April 6th meeting.
Newly elected mayor Roger Gosney was sworn in along with aldermen Brian Brush and Chris Feeney. City Marshal Steve Snodgrass took the oath of office again as the incumbent was returned to service for another four-year term.
The former council certified the official election results from the April 4th vote. The city recognized westward alderman Teresa Skinner, mayor Mike Stone and alderman William Reckenberg for their service to the community.
Gosney reconvened the new city council and the first order of business was appointments. The mayor asked for and received a motion to maintain Angela Newman as City Clerk. The council also voted to maintain the current slate of department superintendents.
After considering appointments for a number of citizen committees, Gosney asked the council to consider eliminating the American with Disabilities Act group as well as the Animal Control Board. Neither advisory committee had met in several years. The council agreed to eliminate both committees.
The mayor then asked the council members to consider new members for the existing committees for the airport, lake, parks, planning and zoning, industrial development and city tree boards for consideration at the May meeting. He asked anyone interested in serving on those committees to contact city hall, any alderman or himself.
Irene McCoy was present to request the board consider changing planning and zoning rules that she felt were currently preventing her from upgrading her property. McCoy stated that she had received an estimate of as high as $500 to fulfill the required legal work that would allow her to replace the mobile home she lives in on Highway 15 near the Highway 136 junction, with a new mobile home.
Alderman Brush indicated the issue had been discussed by the city’s planning and zoning committee, but the group lacked a quorum to take official action on the item.
“Those of us that were there were in agreement, that this is obviously an improvement for our city, so we shouldn’t oppose such a move,” Brush said. “This is different than if someone was tearing down a house and replacing it with a mobile home.”
City Attorney David Peppard noted that the current mobile home was on the site prior to the creation of the city’s zoning. However the site is not currently zoned for a mobile home, meaning the property owner would have to have it re-zoned to allow her to place a new mobile home at the location.
The council appeared to be in consensus that the proposed change would be an upgrade.
However Alderman Feeney asked the council to consider changing the zoning issue in question, if it favored such a policy, as opposed to simply offering variances to those property owners that completed the legal process.
Peppard concurred with the opinion, noting it would be better for the city to abide by a new policy instead of making exceptions from the current law, which ultimately creates legal precedent for all such proposed variances.
The council moved to have Peppard prepare an amended ordinance that would allow existing mobile homes to be replaced at their current locations by newer, improved models.
Alderman Lucas Remley proposed the city consider managing the concession stand at the swimming pool park.
Currently the food stand is being run privately by the pool management with the proceeds going to the employees. A $50 monthly rent fee is charged by the city.
The alderman noted that the pool is never going to be a moneymaker, but suggested that the costs of maintaining the public facility could be partially offset by proceeds from concession sales at the park.
Alderman Ron Gardner offered a conservative estimate of $30 a day profits if the city were to take over the concession stand, using a rotation of the lifeguards to work shifts, since they are already required to take regular breaks off the water.
City Treasurer Michelle Drummond indicated she would work with Remley to prepare cost estimates for supplies. The council also asked that pool manager Karla Matlock be asked to attend the May council meeting to consider the proposal.
Snodgrass gave the monthly police report. His department investigated three traffic accidents, two burglaries, three peace disturbances and four cases of vandalism. Officers made 35 traffic stops, eight community security checks and 22 animal calls.
The council scheduled a special lunch meeting April 17th with representatives of Crawford, Murphy and Tilly regarding upcoming projects at Briggs-Smith Memorial Airport. The consultant has prepared a number of proposals that will utilize grant funds the city has received for the airport.