Lookout Mountain, Tn. Town Attorney Brian Smith on Tuesday gave the oath of office to all newly elected town commissioners. They are: Greg Brown, Dan Crates, Carol Mutter, Will Moses, and newcomer Walker Jones. Moments later, Will Moses raised a motion to approve Greg Brown as mayor for another two years. Fellow commissioners voted unanimously to approve the motion.
Attorney Smith also swore in Sherry Pollock as a new director on the Lookout Mountain School Board.
Mayor Brown noted that Bill Mitchell is leaving the commission after 18 years. He said it has been a pleasure to serve with and witness Mr. Mitchell’s loyalty and faithfulness to the commission and to the school. The mayor read a proclamation honoring Mr. Mitchell’s years of service.
In discussing longevity of commissioners and town employees, it was noted that Bobby McDaniel, currently Public Works supervisor, has been employed by the town since 1968.
Mayor Brown suggested and the commissioners voted unanimously on the following appointments:
Carol Mutter – Mayor Pro Temp
Will Moses – Treasurer
Brian Smith – Town Clerk & Town Attorney
Mayor Brown then made the following appointments:
Fire and Police Commissioner – Carol Mutter
Education Commissioner – Walker Jones
Public Works Commissioner – Dan Crates
Parks and Playgrounds Commissioner – Will Moses
Town Marshall – Randy Bowden
Police Chief – Randy Bowden
Building Inspector – Randy Bowden
Town Treasurer – Pat Fricks
Tax Collector – Dwight Montague
Town Consultant – Dwight Montague
The commissioners approved a motion to establish bonds of $50,000 or $15,000 for the various positions in the town’s administration.
Two resolutions were approved. One for payment of election expenses and another for any bank or financial institution qualified to do business in Tennessee to be used for deposits of town funds.
Ansley Moses presented the financial report. Revenues for the month of August were $44,000 and expenses were $173,000. Mr. Moses said this is typical of this time of the year and the Hall Tax revenue received in July allowed the town to remain fiscally sound for the month.
Mr. Moses said the town has eight certificates of deposit with various banks at attractive interest rates. He said he expects several of banks to call in the CDs because interest rates have fallen so low. He also said, he expects the town to meet the budgeted interest for the year.
The general fund reserve for the town, Mr. Moses said, is $2,246,000.
Mr. Moses told the commissioners the property at 120 S. Forrest Ave. has been sold to Mary Ann Rennick. The town had several liens on the property including one for demolition of the house and another for a property survey. The town has been fully reimbursed for the outstanding liens, he said.
Education Commissioner Jones said the school has reported a very smooth transition with the new principal. Enrollment at the school, he said, is nearly equal to last year’s enrollment.
Mr. Jones said the school carnival is Sept. 28, with a rain date of Sept. 30. He said students are presently selling coupon books and Sally Foster gifts.
Public Works Commissioner Crates said the maintenance building was recently painted and was greatly needed.
Jody Clark and Lolly Jones addressed the commissioners about their concern with kudzu vines on the mountain.
Ms. Clark said the kudzu behind the local stores needs to be addressed quickly. There are other locations, she said, but this is the worst. She said a local ordinance places the responsibility on the property owner to remove invasive plants. She asked the commissioners to have any kudzu on town property removed first, to set an example.
Ms. Jones said kudzu was brought to the U.S. in the 1800s for erosion control and livestock feed. The fact that kudzu has no known predators has caused it to become an invasive plant that can be difficult to eradicate. She said she is looking to the commissioners to get the message out to the community by informing residents of their responsibility and need to eradicate the plant.
The commissioners approved on second reading amendments to the floodplain insurance program. The amendments are required by the federal government and are not significant. The town must participate in the floodplain insurance program for property owners to able to purchase the insurance.
The commissioners also approved on second reading an amendment to fully adopt the 2008 International Electric Code and the 2006 International Building Code. The town has been requiring compliance to these codes but the town ordinance had not been changed to reflect the new codes.
In the Mayor’s Report, Mayor Brown asked each commissioner to meet with their department heads and list any projects needed in the coming year.
Mayor Brown also said the town should consider taking a proactive role in promoting Lookout Mountain. He said there are currently over 100 homes for sale on the mountain. He showed the commissioners an old publication of government services available to citizens. He suggested the publication be updated and sent to residents.
The mayor also said he and Mr. Montague are working on an information publication about the town government, businesses, and churches. The publication will be offered to realtors to give to potential home buyers.
Mayor Brown wanted to state for the record the golf cart policy for Lookout Mountain, Tn. The town, he said, follows the state’s policy. Golf carts are not allowed on the streets. Only ‘low-speed vehicles,’ as defined by the state, are legal on the roads. Low-speed vehicles may look like a golf cart but have distinct differences like a VIN number and standard safety equipment like headlights, tail lights, and seat belts. A golf cart cannot be upgraded to a low-speed vehicle.
Mayor Brown said he has agreed to give a talk at the Natural Bridge Park on Oct. 17. The talk will be about the history and significance of the park and is a repeat of the talk he gave to the Lookout Mountain Garden Club.
Avery Duff, who has been a great friend of Lookout Mountain and whose parents live on the mountain is a screen writer, Mayor Brown said. The film “Takers,” which is currently playing in theatres, is one of his creations.
Fire and Police Commissioner Mutter gave the following statistics for August.
Police calls – 66
Miles patrolled – 5,404
Burglar alarms – 17 (all false)
Assist citizen calls – 7
911 calls – 13
Traffic citations – 9
Warnings – 9
Stolen property reports – 2
Auto accidents – 2 (no injuries)
Medical calls – 13
Fire alarms – 7 (all false)
The next meeting of the commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m.