Hatmaker takes issue with procedure at council meeting

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The LaFollette City Council didn’t appoint department heads Tuesday night when council member Hansford Hatmaker said doing so would violate rules.
While the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting included appointing department heads, Hatmaker felt it wasn’t appropriate for the council to take action.
“It shouldn’t have been put on the agenda in the first place because we didn’t discuss it in the workshop,” Hatmaker said.
The council had discussed it as Hatmaker was leaving the workshop, Mayor Mike Stanfield said.
“You may have discussed it behind my back,” Hatmaker said.
Council member Stephanie Grimm asked Hatmaker if he wanted to make a motion to delay making the appointments.
The appointments’ presence on the agenda violates the rules, and Hatmaker shouldn’t have to make a motion, Hatmaker said.
Grimm made a motion to delay taking action on the appointments and to discuss them at the next workshop. Bolinger seconded the motion, which passed.
LaFollette Public Works Department Head Jim Mullins approached the council at the workshop last week asking for $21,500 to complete three projects. The projects involve repairing East Memorial Drive, Andy Baird Road and the intersection of Fourth Street and Beech Street.
The project at the intersection of Fourth Street and Beech Street costs $1,500, Mullins said. The project on East Memorial Drive costs $4,000. The project on Andy Baird Road costs $30,000. However, the county highway department is willing to pay for half of the project, Mullins said. The city’s portion for the project is between $15,000 and $16,000, Mullins said.
LaFollette Finance Director Terry Sweat said the city doesn’t have the money in the budget for these projects, Stanfield said. Sweat couldn’t attend the meeting, and Stanfield recommended delaying taking action on the projects until the council could meet with Sweat.
“I make a motion we approve,” Hatmaker said. “The money’s there. It’s in the bank.”
Sweat had told Hatmaker the council could take money from the general fund and later amend the budget, Hatmaker said.
Hatmaker made a motion to approve the project on Fourth and Beech Street. Fannon seconded the motion, and the council unanimously approved it.
However, the council didn’t approve the other two projects.
“I looked over there (Andy Baird Road),” Bolinger said. “I think it’s a county project.”
It isn’t unusual for the city of LaFollette to split the cost of projects with the county, Hatmaker said. Hatmaker referenced previous joint efforts with the county including a project to repair the bridge on Pleasant Ridge Road.
These were more evenly divided, geographically, with the city, Bolinger said.
Fannon suggested having Campbell County Roads Superintendent Dennis Potter speak to the council about the project. The council approved following his suggestion.
The council also voted to delay approving the project on East Memorial Drive until it could meet with Sweat.
Traffic Signals
The council approved spending between $3,000 and $5,000 to repair two of the traffic lights on Towe String Road and a signal at Food City. The loop controlling the traffic light’s timing, that is located under the asphalt, is cut, Stanfield said last week. This is causing problems with the timing, which is holding up traffic, Stanfield said.
Mullins and Stanfield found money in the public works department budget to repair these lights, Stanfield said Tuesday night.
Hatmaker made a motion to approve spending between $3,000 and $5,000 of the public works department’s budget to repair traffic signals. Bolinger seconded the motion, which passed.
Beer Ordinance
The council approved, on final reading, an ordinance that will allow beer sales within the old city limits.
911 appointments
The council approved appointing Jay Huddleston and David Reynolds to the LaFollette 911 Board.