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Local issues press, divide City Council

By Bethany Anderson
and Tamas Mondovics

When it came time to discuss the possibility of the Johnson County Farmers Market plans to relocate to a permanent home in downtown, Mountain City Mayor, Kevin Parsons, and Aldermen did not hesitate to share their view during the monthly City Council meeting.
It was only a month ago that Mountain City and Johnson County officials had the opportunity for a JCFM permanent location involving the Johnson County Airport that has been awarded a grant to help make improvements to the airport. The plan includes removing and replacing some of the older hangars.
To comment on the topic last week, however, Parsons shared his experience, which included discussions he said he had with Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor.
Parsons then gave his opinion on the matter, stating, “It just can’t happen.” Adding, “I just don’t see it happening.”
Parsons’ comments prompted Mountain City Alderman, Bud Crosswhite, to add that he had gone to look at the proposed hangar in person and then gone to look at the proposed site. He stated that “it didn’t look like a good fit,” adding, “There is no money in the current budget to purchase the land.”
Parsons agreed when he said, “We sold that land to make room in the budget. It just doesn’t make sense for us to buy it back at this time. The money’s just not there.”
The topic that seems to do more than just press the Council—even dividing its unity—was what Alderman Keeble wanted to address before the meeting came to a close.
Keeble asked that the current Beer Ordinance be amended to include convenience stores, not just grocery stores and package stores. The ordinance was unanimously past at the last Council meeting followed by the town of Mountain City purchasing and posting a public legal notice for Ordinance No. 1630 (Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance of the Town of Mountain City) and Ordinance No. 1632 (Beer Ordinance of the Town of Mountain City) in this edition of the Tomahawk.
City Attorney George Wright explained that such a move would mean an amendment to the current ordinance, not just a vote.
Wright said that the Council could, of course, “vote in favor of making such an amendment.”
When it came to a vote, however, only Mayor Parsons and Alderman Lawrence Keeble voted “yes,” with all other alderman voting “no.”
The division on the
matter led to the current ordinance remaining in place unaltered.