Reingold Says East Ridge Court "Needs To Be Brought Into The 21st Century; Council To Re-Interview City Manager Finalists

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Judge Reingold
Judge Reingold

East Ridge City Judge Arvin Reingold told the East Ridge City Council on Thursday night that the court "needs to be brought into the 21st Century."

He said the court needs new equipment to make it much more efficient.

"We are overwhelmed with the archaic way of handling paperwork," he said.

Judge Reingold also said the court clerks in East Ridge make much less than clerks in other local municipalities.

The council will study that and other "wish list" requests at a special budget meeting next Monday at 6 p.m. The council hopes to vote on the budget at the Sept. 12 meeting.

The panel on Thursday night voted on second reading to keep the property tax rate at the current level.

There was more discussion about what to do with the former McBrien School near city hall. Mayor Brent Lambert suggested moving some city services there, including the police department and animal services.

Councilman Larry Sewell said it might be a good location for the East Ridge Library, which is in tight quarters, as well as the city's history museum. The museum is in a separate location from the library and it is difficult to open it on a special request because of the limited library staff. Councilman Sewell said that problem could be alleviated by putting the two together in a larger space.

But Councilman Marc Gravitt said McBrien Elementary needs a $200,000 sprinkler system and $70,000 in asbestos removal. He and Vice Mayor Jim Bethune said it would be better to tear it down and replace it with a Butler building.

Mayor Lambert said McBrien "is a heck of a lot stronger than a Butler building."

He said officials of Thompson Engineering are going to give another update on the condition of the building and possible uses.

The council will re-interview three city manager finalists - Larry Ables, Andrew Allard and Andrew Hyatt - on Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Councilman Denny Manning was absent during the first round of interviews.

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