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City Council sets several work sessions

By Jonathan Pleasant
Mr. Matt McClosky, representing the non-profit organization Community Center of Hope, was the guest speaker at last Tuesday night’s Mountain City Town Council meeting. Presenting the board with a sample resolution of support and a large banner as an example, McClosky explained that there has been a recent movement to preserve and uphold the history and heritage of the United States national motto, “In God We Trust” which first came into use during the War of 1812 and was officially made law in 1956.
Working with the Keepers of the Motto organization, McClosky was proud to announce that nearby Greene County has recently adopted a resolution officially supporting the group’s efforts, including the placement of banners featuring the national motto in classrooms throughout the Greene County school system. Citing the need to develop patriotism and restore a sense of faith in American heritage, McClosky is hopeful that community organizers will continue the national motto project in areas across the nation as they have already in schools and courthouses in states like California and New Hampshire.
While the council seemed to agree unanimously that they had no issues in supporting the placement of the banners, there was some concern about the legalities of an official resolution. With that in mind, Alderman Bob Morrison made a successful motion to allow City Attorney Steve McEwen to look over the possibility of drafting a resolution to report back to the council at the next meeting. Mr. McClosky did note that there has been little or no negative feed back on the project in Greene County but agreed that the council proceed as they deem appropriate.
The council also took some pro-active measures by setting up several work sessions in the coming weeks. Most of these meetings will involve work on the upcoming budget, including several sessions with individual department heads. One issue that did not come out of the budget talks but that was brought up but Collection-Distribution Superintendent Jerry Horn involved problems with the city’s current pay scale.
Recently city employee Chad Stout passed his water distribution test, which would normally carry with it a salary increase. However, Horne discovered that Stout’s particular job title did not have the increase built into the pay scale. Members of the council discussed the problem, including the possibility of modifying the scale appropriately. Mayor Lawrence Keeble went on to explain that the original scale was based off a similar scale used by the county school district and suggested that it may need to be updated or changed altogether. With that in mind the council decided to hold action on the issue until it could be discussed in detail.
Mayor Keeble also asked the council to consider setting a workshop date to look at and discuss the possibility of allowing limited ATV use within the town limits of Mountain City. As a member of the board of directors for the Doe Mountain Recreation Authority, Keeble has been looking into the issue for some time and explained that he has some ideas that he would like to share with the other members of the council.
The council will be working to schedule the work sessions with City Recorder Sheila Shaw, who also explained that the town recently received the annual audit. With no major issues, several members of the council mentioned cautiously that everything seems to be running smoothly, though there will have to be a general tightening of the budget, especially in light of several recent water and sewer projects.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.