Seligman council accepts resignation

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Seligman City Council voted to accept Jeff Handley's resignation as east ward alderman and appoint Jason Scates to Handley's seat. The action was taken during the council's May 15 meeting.

The aldermen received a letter of resignation from Handley on April 5. Although aldermen tabled the issue during the April council meeting, the council accepted the resignation with a 3-0 vote on Monday night.

After accepting the resignation, Mayor Duane Corn recommended Scates to the vacant alderman seat. The aldermen voted to accept Corn's recommendation and appointed Scates to the seat with a 3-0 vote.

Scates was sworn into office by Joan Andrews, city clerk. He will serve the remainder of Handley's term until the next regular election in April of 2007.

Corn also suggested the council raise water rates $1.50 per month to cover Barry Electric's increase in electricity costs.

"We need to raise the water rates $1.50 for the increase in electricity rates to pump water," said Corn. "We are not going to make money off of this rate increase. It is just to cover the increase in electric costs. I hope people understand we are not doing this to them, we are doing it to cover ourselves."

After a long discussion, the council voted 4-0 to increase the city water rates by $2 per month. The rate increase will be applied to the minimum usage charge for all customers, including residen-tial, farm and commercial.

The aldermen approved a suggestion from the Planning and Zoning Committee to begin publishing code violations as a deterrent.

"I think the first letter should warn them that if the violation is not taken care of it will be publicized," said Lisa Makela, alderman. "If the violation is not corrected and we send a second letter, the violation will be published."

Cynthia Galletly, alderman, also suggested that code violation letters list the specific violation instead of a list of all violations.

If a city resident receives a code violation letter they have the right to appear during the next regularly scheduled code violation hearing to discuss the violation. Hearings are held prior to council meetings each month.

The council also approved an ordinance that will allow volunteer security officers to patrol city streets and property and report crimes to law enforcement officers.

"This ordinance will make security officers available who can call the police if problems arise," said James Bottorff, alderman and police commis-sioner. "They will not have the authority to arrest."

City security officers will have keys to some city facilities, including the park bathrooms. They will also carry radios in order to communicate with police officers quickly.

Security officers will be in charge of protecting city property and chaperoning youth nights.

The aldermen approved the ordinance by a 3-1 vote. Galletly voted against the ordinance.

In other business, the Seligman City Council:

• Decided to allow police officers to travel around 100 miles to pick up individuals detained in neighboring jails on Seligman warrants.

• Approved an ordinance that will prohibit dog kennels and dog fights within the city limits of Seligman.

• Voted to pull bids for a new city truck and approved Corn's request for the authority to purchase a truck with a purchase price not to exceed $7,000.

• Discussed Summer Fest 2006, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 3. Activities include a horseshoe tournament, cooking contests, a baby contest, the library and museum grand opening, a ribbon cutting at the new ballfield and a community softball game. Concessions will be available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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