The Signal Mountain Town Council took action on only one item at the last meeting before new members are elected. The motion to amend the ordinance to expand the town’s personnel committee to seven members versus the current five, passed on the first reading on Sept. 28. Before the second and final vote on Monday to increase the number of members, discussion resulted in all three council members present deciding to deny the motion on second vote. Council member Cheryl Graham said the council was overwhelmed with excellent applications, but in the time since the first vote she has decided it is not a good idea to expand.
After reconsidering the change during the past month, the vote was unanimous to leave the number of members at five.
This committee has been largely unfilled for the last two years leaving three vacancies to fill out of seven applicants. Council member Susannah Murdock said she made the decision based on the volunteers who have a personnel background that she felt would make good contributions. Angela Bandy was chosen to fill the term ending in 2022, while Kathryn Corley and Elizabeth Baker will fill positions that end in 2021.
Town Manager Boyd Veal told the council that he is participating in a salary study. The addition of a new reading room at the Signal Mountain Library is also taking shape, he said. And stabilization of the stream bank on Fern Trail is also underway.
He said a kick off meeting has been held for the LPRF grant of $440,000 which has been received for making repairs and renovations to Marion and Driver Fields. A $3,000 donation has been given to the town by Signal Mountain Youth Baseball toward lighting for Hedges Field. Other sports leagues in the town are expected to make contributions to the baseball league to help. The town itself will need to add another $1,500 for the work that will complete the project.
The town will soon be working to determine what is needed for creating a new website to replace the one that Mayor Dan Landrum called antiquated. The city manager will hold focus meetings with the department heads to see what they believe is lacking in order to see what is needed. The process will also include citizen input to come up with the objectives.
Signal Mountain is also aware that the email system currently being used is in need of updating. Money was included in this year’s budget for this improvement.
Council member Murdock asked Mr. Veal and the council to postpone returning to normal cut-off procedures for residents unable to pay water bills. Mr. Veal said that the water company has worked with people before about late fees and not shutting off their water. He is not aware of how many households are involved, but he said it has not been a detriment to the water company. The issue will be addressed at the next council meeting.
Department heads in the town have been asked to put together updated reports for the council. Presenting them was postponed until the new members have been seated. Town Attorney Harry Cash plans to hold orientation training for the new council members after they are elected.