Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously chose Walker Jones as the town's new mayor. Former Mayor Carol Mutter did not seek re-election.
The commission also welcomed Frank Schriner to the board of commissioners at the September meeting. He along with the returning commissioners, the members of the school board and other town officials were sworn in by Town Judge Flossie Weill.
The new mayor appointed each commissioner to continue heading the same departments they currently lead. Mr. Schriner will replace Mr. Jones as commissioner of public works. Commissioner Jim Bentley was appointed to be mayor pro tempore and Mr. Schriner to be treasurer.
Returning school board members are Jim Haley, Haven Glascock and Karen Welborn.
Brian Smith will continue in the position of town attorney, Chief Chuck Wells is the town marshal, plumbing and building inspector and chief of Fire and Police. Samantha Van Alstyne was appointed as tax collector, recorder and court clerk, and Town Consultant Dwight Montague as assistant treasurer.
Commissioner of Fire and Police Bentley gave the monthly department report that was compiled by Chief Wells. Police had 232 calls in the month of August, they patrolled 4,790 miles, responded to 10 false burglar alarms, nine assist citizen calls and 28 calls to 911. There were 106 traffic stops made, 31 parking citations issued and no auto accidents. Three arrests were made. There were seven medical calls in Tennessee and three assists in Georgia. Two fire alarms were answered that were both false and there was one fire rescue in Georgia.
Officer Davy L. Nicholson, who has worked in the police and fire departments since 2009, was promoted to sergeant fire engineer for the Lookout Mountain Fire Department.
It appears that drivers have slowed down and are now stopping at stop signs, said the commissioner.
During August, two advertisements for short term rentals in the town were discovered. The commission passed a law earlier this year, he said, making rentals such as VRBO and Airbnb illegal anywhere in the town other than the commercial district. He reminds all residents that these rentals are illegal and if they are found, the owner will be cited to court.
Brooke Pippenger, commissioner of parks and playgrounds, reported that soccer season is in process with almost 400 kids signed up. Chris Cushenbery is heading up the soccer program. Flag football evaluations have taken place and there are 60 participants from 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Games will begin after the fall break. Pickleball lines will be added to the top and middle tennis courts. This will give the adult group that has been playing in the skating rink a place to compete outside, she said.
The Lookout Mountain Carnival that has been going on since 1947 is being planned for next month, said Commissioner of Schools Stinnett. This year tents will replace the old wooden front booths for all games. This is a great community activity for families and children, he said. Principal Ruth White told the commissioners that school is off to a great start with the new staff already settled in. Improvements such as new mulch, better drainage and replacing some of the old equipment are being made at the elementary playground and money is being raised for work on the intermediate playground. The big news right now, she said, is coupon book sales. From the $10 cost, $7 goes back to the school. The money received by Lookout Mountain Elementary is used for technology, said Ms. White.
The new commissioner of public works deferred to Mayor Jones, formerly in charge of the public works department, for the August report. Six or seven areas have been identified for paving and have been sent out to bid. Work is expected to begin soon. Some changes have been made to the way recycling is collected. Glass needs to be separated from plastic, metals and paper, he said. A separate container for glass has been added at the public works area. Another change is that plastic bags will no longer be accepted. With fall on the way, the town’s two leaf machines will be brought out in several weeks, he said, and the dumpster will continue to be available on the first Saturday of each month.
There is nothing out of the ordinary on the August financial report, said Mr. Montague.
The commission unanimously approved a resolution of appreciation for former Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham who served the district from 2010 to 2018. Stated in the resolution is that he served his constituents with honor, honesty and an abiding interest in their well being to make life better in the district and county. He was in constant contact with the town attending virtually all meetings and special celebrations, and his contributions are deeply appreciated. The resolution seeks to express deep appreciation to Mr. Graham.
Mayor Jones also gave thanks to Carol Mutter for the 12 years of service she gave to the community, serving as commissioner of fire and police one term and as mayor for the last eight years. “You have been so unselfish with your time,” he told her. ‘Thank you for the opportunity, it’s been an honor and a privilege,” she responded.
The next commission meeting is scheduled for October 9 at 5 p.m.