MBA 2006 September

                                    COOPERTOWN BOARD OF MAYOR AND ALDERMEN


                                                             MEETING MINUTES


                                                            SEPTEMBER 26, 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:  $196,258.86

    State Street Aid:  $89,618.02

    Landfill Legal Fund:  $2,824.74


V.                  Public Forum:


Shannon Crutcher:  Mrs. Crutcher presented a petition to the Mayor and Aldermen and asked that they appoint a committee to research the petition and report back the findings to the Mayor and Aldermen.  She gave the Board a copy of the petition. 


VI.                Acting Mayor Long presented the July Minutes from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting.  At last month's meeting, it was asked to delay approving the Minutes so there could be time to review.  Motion was made, seconded, and motion was passed unanimously.


Acting Mayor Long presented the Minutes of the Meeting of August 26, 2006.  Alderman Ruth had a clarification.  Alderman Gill stated he did not have any of the tractor information.  Alderman Ruth stated she had emailed everyone, and he said he wouldn't conduct City business by email.  She stated she would put the papers in his box.  Alderman Ruth had one correction, last page, third line from the top, where they were talking about the budget.  "She has not gotten any response will be taken out.  Motion to approve the Minutes as corrected was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.


VII.               Alderman Ruth mentioned a news item that involved an interview with Mayor Long regarding the I-24 lighting.  It was stated in the article that the Aldermen voted 2-2.  Aldermen Ruth and Scott stated that the vote was 4-0, and that this made them look bad.  Mayor Long said he asked all 3 other entities to wait until Coopertown had a full board and to pass the budget.  Mayor Long stated that he didn't talk to them.  Alderman Ruth offered to speak to the newspaper and correct it.  Mr. Niec stated that nobody ever talked to City Hall. 


Alderman Scott asked everyone that was in attendance that was on the Finance Committee to stand up and thanked them for their hard work.


Mayor Long stated that the Finance Committee met on September 5, 2006 and met with Aldermen Ruth and Scott.  He stated that they were able to come to an agreement on the new budget.


Mayor Long asked Chief Barrera to give his report.  Chief Berrera stated there have been a lot of changes since he took over.  There is now a school resource officer assigned to the school and a manual.  There will be reimbursement from the County for part of his salary.  He stated he has spoken with Dr. Morris, and Dr. Morris indicated they are approaching the ability to become a high school, possibly within the next 5 years.  A program for at-risk children has also been developed. 


He discussed the restructuring of the police department.  He stated that Sgt. Burgess'  responsibilities have increased.  He discussed how the police department is being run by the standards of a national accreditation program, and they will be able to get grants.  He also discussed training of the new officers.  They have decided to take the approach of new officers to ensure that all the officers have the training they need. 


Chief Berrera stated that he knew there was a push to reduce the size of the police department.  The federal standard is 2.3 officers for every 1,000 people.  The standard in the south is 2.7.  Chief Barrera said there is a 5-step pay plan approved by the City and put in place for the police department to eliminate the "good ole boy system. 


He showed the basic standard operating procedure manual.  He said it was ready for review by MTAS.  Every officer will be given a copy and will be responsible.  It will be updated as needed. 


Chief Barrera stated he has an open door policy.  He has a close working relationship with the City Recorder, who is his boss.  He takes his orders from the City Recorder.  The police department is working to obtain grants. 


He explained why the interstates were being policed.  The Governor's office created  a grant program for the police officers to help patrol the interstates.  The City of Coopertown has been given a 5-mile stretch of I-24.  There is a packet indicating what must be done to obtain the grant, and he discussed some of the things involved. 


The Police Department recently conducted their first sobriety checkpoint.  He stated the information was in the packets the Aldermen received.  The checkpoint was in accordance with the Sheriff's Department. 


During the month of August, 123 citations were written for speeding.  They issued 42 warnings for speeding.  During September, they have written 93 citations, and issued 51 warnings.  In August, they wrote 5 citations for seat belt violations.  In September, the police wrote 17 citations. 


He stated the county only has four deputies per shift to cover the whole county.  The county has continued to grow, but the Sheriff's Department hasn't.  In August, there were 214 dispatched calls in Coopertown.  In September, there have been 102 calls. 

The Police Department is within its budget.  The training programs are going as they should.  He is taking the department toward national accreditation.  There is an actual application process.   


Chief Barrera stated he has a complaint system in place.  Alderman Scott asked if that was the police officer's manual.  He also asked if they were given sufficient time to fill out the report.  Chief stated he wanted the reports at the end of the shift.  Alderman Scott said he was concerned that the officers were given adequate time to fill out their reports.


VIII.             Mayor Long stated the Board had before it Ordinance 2006-05, Coopertown Fireworks Ordinance.  Nobody spoke publicly.  Motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.


Mayor Long next introduced Ordinance 2006-04, setting the budget for 2006-2007 (First Reading).  He stated the Aldermen were provided with an updated copy.  Motion was made to adopt, seconded, and passed unanimously. 


Mayor Long stated that he asked the City Recorder to get background information on the 3 candidates for the police chief's position.  The information was delivered to the Aldermen the previous Friday.  Alderman Ruth committed for October 12.  Alderman Scott was told his interview date was on the 10th.  Alderman Gill asked why it was taken out of the Personnel Committee.  Mayor Long stated that to speed up the process, they needed the Aldermen to interview the candidates themselves.  It does not have to be in a public forum.  Alderman Scott said the Personnel Committee should be involved and not left out. 


There was discussion regarding the blackout of social security numbers.  Mr. Niec stated that when they were done, the paperwork on the candidates would be turned back in and shredded. 


Mayor Long stated if they went with the Personnel Committee, it would be November or December before a police chief would be selected.  The interviews will be over a period of 3 days.  Mayor Long said they would conduct the interview process, make a recommendation and present it to the Board. 


Alderman Scott said to strike what he said regarding the involvement of the Personnel Committee.  There was discussion regarding the interview process. 


Brian Rettaliata discussed the interview packet that was given.  He discussed some of the categories of questioning in the packet.  Each team will ask each candidate the same questions. 


Alderman Ruth had some questions regarding city employees being involved in the interview process.  Mr. Niec discussed how the Aldermen needed to review the documents carefully, and how it's a good idea to have 3 members on each team.  Mr. Niec stated that the three candidates were the only ones that sent their information in on time. 


Mayor Long stated that Team A will be Brian, Peggy Ruth, and Robert Dale Anderson.  Team B will be Terry Scott, Ed Niec and Shannon Crutcher.  Team C will be Ed Niec, Donnie and Jim Richardson.   He stated the following Monday after the interviews he would like written recommendations from the teams.   That will be brought before the full Board for discussion at the next meeting.  Mayor Long stressed that everyone needed to read every sheet of paper. 


Mayor Long discussed giving Mr. Niec the password for the website. Anyone wanting something posted on the website needs to get with Mr. Niec.  The Minutes will be posted on there.   He will be officially in charge of the website beginning October 1. 


Each government agency involved in the lighting project has been notified that it will be taken up after a full board is elected.  It needs to be on the agenda for the November meeting.  There was discussion regarding the project.  The total cost of the project will be around $177,000 to be split four ways.  


Motion was made to adjourn, and the meeting was adjourned.



Minutes Submitted:  Edmund A. Niec, City Recorder



Minutes Approved:   Jack Long, Jr., Acting Mayor



ATTEST:  Edmund A. Niec, City Recorder