Special meeting called in LaFayette filled with confusion and frustration – Valley Times-News

At a special meeting called Friday, the LaFayette City Council struggled to make progress on an agenda item, which involved assigning a city code enforcement position with responsibilities that don’t are not directly related to the application of the code. The conversation swung confusingly between this and an assistant to George Green, Superintendent of Street, Sanitation and Cemetery.

LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines explained that the value of combining new responsibilities with the code enforcement position is to make it a full-time position. New responsibilities on the meeting agenda include managing business licenses, the city’s website, cemetery duties, bookkeeping and business license agreements. In a later interview, Vines said the board also considered turning Green’s assistant position into a full-time job by adding new responsibilities.

Council member Tammie Williams asked if the code enforcement position was separate from Green’s assistant position. Vines said he believed that was the case, but Hunter and council member Terry Mangram seemed to say they were in the same position. This may have caused some confusion for the rest of the conversation.

Mangram said the duties listed for the code enforcement position were probably too many for a single position, and said it would likely suffice for the code enforcement officer to deal with commercial licensing.

Williams brought up the other position.

“When I made a motion, my motion was to hire an assistant for Mr. Green for the cemetery,” Williams said.

“Part-time,” Hunter replied.

“Absolutely, part-time,” Williams replied. “There was none of that in there.”

Mangram explained that by combining the positions, the city could create one full-time job.

Williams argued the job was advertised part-time and as an assistant to Green.

“Each time you employ a different person, you pave the way for more money to be spent per employee,” Mangram said. “So if you can use an employee [for] two jobs, then you remove an employee that you may need to have. »

Williams said she understood what Mangram was saying, but insisted Section A was not what the board agreed to and did not match the job description they put in an advert. .

Mangram argued that the city needs someone who can do physical and clerical work to help Green so that if someone can’t show up for work, the new person can replace them.

Thomas agreed with Williams that the position was not advertised with the new duties the board was considering. He said Green had previously conducted job interviews without informing applicants of new roles. He asked Green if that was the case.

“Right now we’ve done five, and we have one more planned,” Green said. “Until yesterday, we kind of narrowed down what we were talking about. Basically, [we] I just looked at what I had put on the table. And that’s part of what we’ve announced with respect to the assistant building inspection, the cemetery, and some of the zoning.

Thomas argued that the city was false advertising because it advertised the job differently than it actually planned for the new assistant.

Hunter argued that Thomas and Williams did not understand what was going on because they had not attended a previous work session where the position was discussed.

“The job description needs to be defined before the person is hired,” City Attorney Joseph (Mac) Tucker said. “And the job description, technically, it’s under the authority of the mayor to do the job description. Now the board is in charge of budgeting.

Williams said she and Thomas were unaware of the work session in which the board previously discussed the position.

Mangram argued that when council members talk to each other, it’s not necessarily a meeting.

Williams argued that the working session was a formal meeting, not just a conversation.

Vines apologized to anyone who was not informed of the meeting. However, he said the meeting was discussed at a previous city council meeting.

Thomas pointed out that if the code enforcement position was combined with the duty to manage business licenses, the new employee would be under two different departments.

Tucker said the city couldn’t have someone working for two departments, but said the code enforcement position could be moved to another department.

“I don’t think George [Green’s] post for his part-time helper could be incorporated into it without moving the administration of the cemetery to Louis’ house [Davidson’s] department,” Tucker said.

Green took to the podium to explain his concerns.

“I think misunderstandings and misconceptions about something are dangerous,” Green said. “I want you to listen to me for a second… If you would just take five or 10 minutes to come to my office, I would just welcome you to see what the state of the city cemetery, the street, the public works that the department must manage every day. Call volume. Not calling people back in time. This job that I have now was a part-time job that other people had.

Green said the board didn’t even know what the new employee would do. He said the mayor and council need to go through his department and see how much paperwork he has to deal with.

After almost an hour of discussion on point A, the board decided to postpone it.

Green started talking about the potential purchase of a new or used truck.

“The one we reviewed in Covington, Tennessee is a 2006 model,” Green said. ” It is in very good condition. It only had 103,000 miles. The one we have now is about 17 years old and has only accumulated about 178,000 miles.

Green said the city member truck could potentially be refurbished, which he said would cost between $8,000 and $10,000.

Council member Michael Ellis suggested using American Rescue Plan Act money to pay for a new members truck so the city doesn’t have to worry about getting another members truck or fixing it. the one she has had for a long time. He said if the city didn’t like the new truck, they could sell it.

After further discussion, Ellis said he needed to get back to work as his lunch break was over. He got up and left. Williams and Thomas quickly followed him, causing the meeting to end prematurely due to a lack of quorum.

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