Official minutes – October 1, 2009 Council meeting
Approved on October 15, 2009
Mayor Tipton called the council meeting to order and Councilman Myrick led in prayer. Mayor Tipton recognized City Clerk Sandra Jones who presented a verbal tribute to City Administrator Robert Brady who had passed away on September 23, 2009 due to complications related to a brain aneurysm he had in March, 2009. (A copy of the tribute is attached to the original minutes) Ann Purcell made several comments regarding her working relationship with Mr. Brady when he served as City Administrator in Rincon and stated that he was very knowledgeable about municipal government and was a great friend.
Mayor Tipton recognized Jessie Tyler who stated he was a candidate for the position of State Representative for the 159th district and he outlined his goals if elected to the position. Mr. Tyler requested that the citizens vote for him in the upcoming election. The Mayor then recognized Ann Purcell, a former State Representative, who was also running for the State Representative for the 159th district. Ms. Purcell stated that she felt her many years of public service and experience in working with the cities within this district would enable her to be the best representative for the citizens and asked for everyone’s support.
The Mayor presented the draft copy of the minutes of the September 17, 2009 meeting for council’s consideration. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minutes with no changes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mayor Tipton then presented the agenda for council’s approval. Councilwoman Winn made a motion to approve the agenda as presented, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Just prior to discussion of administrative and committee reports, Citizen Mike Hargrove passed out flyers advertising an opportunity for citizens to meet and ask questions of the candidates running for public office by attending the October 8, 2009 Bloomingdale Lion’s Club meeting.
Under administrative and committee reports, Fire Chief Tyler submitted his monthly report on fire and medical calls and stated that it was almost time for an ISO inspection of the fire department. He also advised council that the City had not been successful in its attempt to obtain stimulus monies for the construction of the fire station, but he and the Mayor would continue to pursue other possible funding to assist with the cost of this project. Fire Chief Tyler announced plans for a “Fallen Firefighter Memorial Program” to be held at Taylor Park on October 4, 2009 at 7:00pm. Councilman Strozier outlined plans for the purchase of items included in the FY 2009/2010 budget that included an air compressor, generators for the City Hall and public works building, the bio-filter system for the lift station and repairs to the side-arm tractor and mower. Councilman Strozier stated that bids would be obtained for the generators. Council was advised that one item that was not included in the budget was additional fencing and a gate for the lift station located on Little Neck Road, but once a cost estimate is obtained, it would be brought back to council. During committee reports, Citizen Pat Stanfield asked if the Bloomingdale Fire Department could participate in the upcoming block party to be held on October 31, 2009 by providing a fire truck at the event. Mayor Tipton suggested she get with Fire Chief Tyler and give him the details about the event and they would discuss the request and let her know.
The Mayor stated that Mike Wedincamp’s request for a permit to sell propane gas at #704 W. Highway 80 had been passed to tonight’s meeting to allow Attorney Dickey an opportunity to review local and state regulations for this type business. Attorney Dickey reported that the City’s Zoning Ordinance allows, as a permitted use, bottled gas, storage and distribution in a C-2 zone and the state regulates the installation, regulation, and approval of the facility. Attorney Dickey noted that the regulations included, but were not limited to, liability insurance, inspection by the state fire marshal, training of operators and specific site requirements. Council was advised that the occupational license would be considered a regular, not temporary, license. Mike Wedincamp stated that the state fire marshal had already visited the site and instructed him as to where the tank should be placed. Mr. Wedincamp stated that he planned to use a portable carport awning over the tank. Attorney Dickey advised him that once he had been issued approval from the state for the operation of the bottled gas facility, he should bring that information to City Hall to obtain his occupational license.
Council reviewed a request from Kevin & Kay Heritage for the renewal of the “medical hardship” permit for the secondary mobile home located on their property at #1230 Bloomingdale Road. A letter from Dr. Troy Murphy stated that the medical condition of Kay’s mother, Ho Shim Shaw, still exists and she requires daily assistance from her daughter. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the renewal of the permit for an additional six months as allowed by the ordinance. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton stated that due to the nature of the next order of business he was turning this portion of the meeting over to Mayor Pro-tem Ray. Mayor Pro-tem Ray reported that it was his understanding a complaint had been filed about the removal of political signs that had been placed in the rights of way and that questions had been raised about the size of some of the political signs exceeding the exemption from the permit requirements. Mayor Pro-tem Ray stated that political signs placed in the rights of way must be removed and it would be his suggestion to have those candidates with signs over four (4) square foot come into City Hall and complete a sign permit application, but felt the City could waive the permit fee. Councilman Rawlings expressed his concern about the City not enforcing the ordinances. Councilwoman Winn stated that she agreed that the ordinances should be enforced, but once the signs were removed from the rights of way, they should not be put back again. Councilman Myrick noted that, in the past, not only Bloomingdale, but also the neighboring cities of Pooler and Garden City had been lenient on the size requirements for signs during election years and had even waived the fees. Mayor Pro-tem Ray pointed out that he agreed and that was his suggestion for this election, but he felt that, in future elections, information regarding the sign ordinance regulations for political signs should be distributed to the candidates when they qualified. Mayor Pro-tem Ray recognized Mary Mitchell who voiced her complaints regarding the removal of her campaign signs and asked who had authorized their removal. Ms. Mitchell also questioned why it was necessary to have an armed police officer to deliver notices about political signs and she was advised that the police officers were delivering the letters during their normal rounds. Barbara Griffin pointed out that she had no problems with the enforcement of the ordinance as long as it was consistent. During the discussion, Mike Wedincamp stated that he felt the sign ordinance should be followed. Mayor Pro-tem Ray stated council needed to address whether to waive the sign permit fee and several citizens questioned whether there would be a quorum of council to consider the matter since there were four candidates that could not vote. Attorney Dickey advised them that Mayor Pro-tem Ray could vote and the three councilmembers that were eligible to vote would be a quorum. Mary Mitchell stated that her questions had not been answered and pointed out that the City should have given her notice before removing her signs as outlined in the ordinance. Attorney Dickey advised her that the sign ordinance did not require any notice for removal of temporary political signs. Mayor Tipton stated that he agreed that the sign ordinance needed to be followed and stated that he had contacted Councilman Strozier, as the Chairman of the General Services Committee, to monitor the placement of political signs to make sure they were not placed in rights of way. After additional discussion on this issue and based on the objection of some candidates on the waiver of sign permit fees for political signs, Mayor Pro-tem Ray stated that any political sign that was placed in the rights of way must be removed by 9:00am on Monday, October 5th. Mayor Pro-tem Ray also stated that those candidates having signs over four (4) square foot should come to City Hall to obtain a sign permit and pay the appropriate sign permit fees. Several citizens voiced their opinion that other signs should also have to meet these requirements, so Mayor Pro-tem Ray advised them that all signs should comply with these requirements.
Mayor Tipton recognized Willie Mitchell who had requested that he be placed on the agenda to discuss the removal of “No Parking” signs from Douglas Court. His wife, Mary Mitchell, stated that Mr. Mitchell was ill and could not address council and she would like to speak for him. Ms. Mitchell noted that several years ago there had been problems with vehicles parking along both sides of Douglas Court near its intersection with Highway 80 and council had agreed to put the “No Parking” signs along the roadway to eliminate the problem. Ms. Mitchell questioned why the signs had been removed and she was advised that since there had not been any problems in several years, the signs were taken down. Councilman Myrick asked if there had been any recent problems with vehicles parking along the street and he was advised that one truck had been parked there today. Councilman Strozier asked Chief Gossett if he had been receiving any complaints and he stated there had not been any complaints. The Chief stated that the police officers were issuing citations if vehicles were improperly parked and/or if trucks exceeded the posted load limits. Councilman Strozier suggested that we leave the signs down for now and have the police monitor the situation, but if parking on the roadway becomes a problem, the signs will be put back up. Being no objections to this suggestion from council, Councilman Strozier made a motion to handle the situation in this manner. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The accounts payable were reviewed with Councilman Ray making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:20pm. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Note: Section § 50-14-1 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia Annotated requires that the minutes shall, as a minimum, include a description of each motion or other proposal made, and a record of all votes. These minutes meet the minimum requirements. However, in an attempt to provide as much information as possible to the citizens, the recording clerk has included additional background data and discussion on the subjects presented to council. The statements of individuals are not verbatim and may be summary in nature.