MBA 2006 July





JULY 25, 2006



I.          Call to Order:   Acting Mayor Long


II.          Roll Call:


            Edmund A. Niec, City Recorder conducted a roll call.  The following members were present:


            Jack Long, Jr., Acting Mayor

            Donnie Gill, Alderman

            Peggy Ruth, Alderman

            Terry Scott, Alderman


III.         Pledge of Allegiance was led by Acting Mayor Long.


IV.        Bank Balances:   General Government:  $251,759.06

                                         State Street Aid:  $76,684.77

                                         Landfill Legal Fund:  $2,824.74


V.         Public Forum:


            Cornelia Gregory:   She stated she will support Acting Mayor Long and will work on his campaign.  She discussed how the Coopertown Forever group and Sam Childs (who lost the election to Crosby) were responsible for the ousting of Mayor Crosby.  She asked for Alderman Ruth to resign, stating she is a disgrace.  She outlined the good things Mayor Crosby has done for Coopertown. 


            Bob Sanders:   He stated that what is done is done.  He has lived in Coopertown for three years.  He does not want the City to unincorporated.  He discussed the possibility of a dump coming in, and he does not want that.  He discussed the growth of the City. 


            Paula Rettaliata:  She stated that in November 2004 Mayor Crosby was elected.  Since that time, he has done more to improve the City than any of his predecessors combined.  She outlined several things Mayor Crosby has done, including bringing in a professional police force.  She also asked that Alderman Ruth resign immediately.  She stated that the 46% who signed the ouster petition also would like the City to be unincorporated.  She asked that the rest of the residents of Coopertown speak up.


            Billy Pugh:   He asked for a show of hands of people who have had their civil rights violated.  He praised the Board for their gift of $10,000 to the school.  He does not want the City unincorporated.   He would like to see the budget, and no violations of the Sunshine Law.  He stated he is willing to give the Board a chance to do what's right.  He asked that Mayor Crosby resign.  He wants the community to heal.


            Susan Slawson:   She discussed how many people signed the petition.  She discussed the ouster hearing, how only 5 citizens testified, and the testimony of the police officers.  She stated that she had a meeting with Acting Mayor Long and is willing to give him a chance.  She has asked for city records.  She has not received any records.  She has never been a part of Coopertown Forever.  She said federal laws have been broken. 


            John Anderson:   He stated that he was an Alderman in the past.  He stated the City has a problem with integrity.   The ability of the Aldermen and the Mayor to work together has been compromised due to ego.   He asked for a show of hands on who has read the indictment.  He stated that Acting Mayor Long and Alderman Gill should distance themselves from Mayor Crosby.  He stated that Acting Mayor Long should know about the laws regarding open meetings.  He discussed Alderman Ruth not being allowed to see documents before meeting.  He stated that Coopertown is now known world-wide due to the speed traps.  He asked that all the Aldermen be treated equally with respect.


            Roy Webb:   He has lived in Coopertown a little over 10 years.  The biggest problem he has with the City is that he does not know who his Alderman is.   Only one man has come to his door and asked for his vote.  He feels like he has no representation.   He stated he wants representation. 


VI.        Reports from Committees and Communications from Aldermen:


            A.  It was announced that there was a Finance Committee July 27, 2006 at 6 p.m.  Acting Mayor Long asked the Aldermen make an effort to attend the meetings.  He stated that the records are available, just ask for them.  The City of Coopertown is going to move forward.  He stated he was proud of the numbers.  He has offered to sit down with Alderman Ruth and Mr. Pugh.  He will make time for the citizens. 


VII.       Police Report:  Chief Bernard stated he did not see the need to give statistics.  He discussed how the police tried to uphold the laws.  They did not set out on a crusade.  They were called to Court, and they told the truth.  The police have lived in fear for the last year.   He stated that Mayor Crosby has done good things.  He also stated that he has seen Mr. Long and Mr. Gill advise Mayor Crosby.  He stated that after the police officers testified, several were fired.  Accusations were made against some officers.  He stated that a lady asked for his resignation, and he gave it.  The audience stated they needed him, and he replied that he and his family had had enough. 


VIII.       Mayor's Announcements:


            Acting Mayor Long reminded everyone of the Blue Ribbon celebration on August 6 from 2 to 5 p.m.  All the elected officials of the City, county officials and State officials will attend. 


            Dr. Morris explained the reason for the Blue Ribbon award for Coopertown Middle School.


            Acting Mayor Long stated that work has begun on putting the fence around the football field at Coopertown Middle and work has also begun on the goalposts.   The City gave the school the money for that.  He stated that Dr. Morris had the City's support.


            Acting Mayor Long waived the oral reading the Minutes of the Meeting of June 13, 2006. An audience member asked for them to be read and Mr. Long gave them to her to read out loud. 

            Motion was made to accept the Minutes, seconded, and passed with the exception of Alderman Ruth, who abstained since she was not at the meeting.


            The Minutes of the meeting of June 27, 2006 were presented.  It was asked if there were any questions.  Alderman Ruth stated she was not at the meeting.  She read from the Minutes regarding the lighting.  Alderman Ruth had objections to the remarks regarding her in the Minutes, and the lighting on I-24 and a second proposal.    She stated that she did not ask for any kind of drawing.  She stated that she left it with TDOT that she asked of the status (this from her notes of June 1); she was told that he had approved the request from the Mayor Crosby.  She said that he said Nancy would send a contract for payment of the engineering cost.  She stated they had discussed the cost because Mayor Crosby had stated in the paper that the City would owe 20% and she was verifying that they would owe 50%.  She stated on the design study she had requested information only on the request of some Coopertown residents.  She stated that there was never a vote on a 90-foot pole system, what was voted was that the City voted $18,750 for the City's share of the expense.  She wants the Minutes to be corrected regarding the Interstate lighting.  Mr. Long asked Mr. Niec if the Minutes were Mr. Crosby's words, and since they were, they cannot be changed.  She wants to submit a correction.  Mayor Long spoke with Mr. Lee who informed him that Mayor Crosby had asked him to do the cheapest route that would benefit the City without blinding light.  The City is responsible for 50% of the cost (which is $330,000 total), and four other entities are willing to share in the cost.  Mr. Lee indicated that there needed to be a decision made regarding the type of lighting the City wanted to use.  Alderman Ruth stated that he did not do any proposals for her.  Mayor Long stated that he did, and he would make sure Mr. Niec got her a copy of the letter Alderman Ruth said she did not receive.  A different proposal was made based on discussions Alderman Ruth had with TDOT.  Mayor Long will discuss this with the mayor of Pleasant View and Mr. Lee.  The project would probably not be completed until spring.   


            It was stated that there was never a vote regarding splitting the cost.  It was discussed splitting the cost between Cheatham County, Pleasant View, Robertson County and Coopertown.  It was then changed to Coopertown paying for 50%.  It was stated that it was never voted on.   The City will be responsible for 50%, and the other 3 government entities have agreed to pay for ¼ of that percentage.  Alderman Ruth read from the Minutes regarding the lighting costs.  The City will go back to TDOT to get new figures in a written proposal for the Board to discuss if the City is willing to pay the amount.  Alderman Ruth stated that the figures given her would mean everyone's share would be between $31,250 and $37,500 if everyone participated.  This is for the on and off ramp on both sides.  Mr. Niec discussed how the cost would be split. 


            Motion was made, and seconded.  Explanation was made as to how the Minutes are done.  There was discussion regarding Alderman Ruth's objections.  Motion was passed unanimously.


            The next item was the mowing of the right of ways.  Mayor Crosby has allowed the City to utilize his equipment to maintain the roads.  The cost was less than $1,000.  Prior to Mayor Crosby's election, close to $10,000 was being paid.  Mayor Crosby stated that the City can continue to use the equipment.  There was discussion to put out the bids, and Alderman Ruth and Scott were to get bids. Acting Mayor Long stated that no bids were put together by Aldermen Ruth and Scott at Mayor Crosby's request.  Long stated that the Finance Committee recommended that the City purchase a tractor through a state contract.  Long stated that leasing equipment costs more, according to the John Deere and New Holland dealers.  Long wanted to know if the Aldermen wanted to bid out the tractor or go ahead and purchase one.  Long stated all individuals operating the tractor are over 18.  It was discussed how to purchase a tractor.  Long stated that Mayor Crosby asked Aldermen Ruth and Scott to look into bids.  Alderman Ruth stated that she is not responsible for putting out bids.  Long stated that he thinks purchasing a tractor is more beneficial.


            An audience member asked about correction workers doing the work for free.


            Edmund Niec discussed buying equipment as opposed to contracting out the work.  The City has equipment; it needs one tractor.


            Long stated the labor will be done by the street crew. 


            An audience member suggested buying the City's own tractor. 


            Alderman Ruth said it would be helpful to get the information before a Meeting so the figures will be accurate.   She does not want the information right before the Meeting.  Long told her she had the state contracts awarded bids for a tractor. 


            It was discussed if the correction workers will mow, or if they are just for trash pickup.  It was stated that there were about 2 mowing left.  Mayor Crosby has stated the City can continue to use his tractor.  The question was raised regarding renting the tractor.  A 45 hp tractor can be rented for $185.  The City requires 85 to 90 hp.  An audience member suggested leasing a tractor for the last 2 mowings. 


            Mr. Niec stated that a lease starts at 3 years with places checked in Clarksville.  A three year lease would be too expensive.


            The question was asked of Mr. Niec as to what is the best route fiscally.   He stated purchasing would be the best option.  Renting a tractor for the last 2 mowings was mentioned again.   The audience member stated that the City does unnecessary mowing in some areas and to rent for the next 2 months. 


            It was asked of the audience if anybody ever rented.  


            Another audience member suggested a contract to use Crosby's tractor.   There was discussion in the audience regarding the best option.  


            Alderman Ruth said she would be interested in leasing for the next 2 months.  It was stated that it has to be put out on bid. 


            A special meeting is scheduled for August 15.  Alderman Ruth was asked to get information for the meeting.  Discussion will be on the first reading of the proposed budget and the issue of the tractor.   Alderman Ruth will do the research.


            Alderman Scott stated he will be out for 2 months due to back surgery. It was stated a three person quorum would be enough to vote. 


            Motion was made by Alderman Gill and seconded by Alderman Scott to use John Poole, CPA for the annual audit.  The motion passed unanimously. 


            Mayor Long thanked everyone for coming to the meeting and reminded everyone that they are working for the City of Coopertown.


            Sheriff Bollinger spoke regarding the resignation of Chief Bernard.  He stated the Sheriff's Department would be happy to help out the police in Coopertown.


            The meeting was adjourned by Acting Mayor Long.