Thursday, December 29, 2011
Mayor DeBerry says ‘stay in own lanes’
By SUE WATSON
Holly Springs Mayor Andre’ DeBerry took Ward 4 Alderman Harvey Payne to task at the December 20 meeting for broaching the topic of a land swap recently before the Marshall County Board of Supervisors.
He denied there had ever been any discussion with the city board about such a proposal to swap county road and bridge property on West Woodward for city property at the city shop and technology center on Highway 311.
“There is a procedure for making recommendations,” DeBerry said. “For you to go before the board of supervisors is presumptuous on your part. You do not represent the city.”
The mayor said it is not fair for an alderman to go before the board of supervisors on behalf of the city.
“The last time I checked, land transactions are made by a mayor. I hope we will rein in this maverick (behavior),” DeBerry said.
He also chided Payne for saying the mayor’s plan for streets would be reworked.
“This seems as if the city rejected a plan I came up with,” the mayor said.
DeBerry said the plan was an assessment ordered by the board and done by professional planners, not his plan.
Payne answered, “When we looked at the proposal, I discussed it with you and all the board. The main piece of this was to find out if the county would be interested in a transaction, if they would consider it. The only way to know is to ask them.”
DeBerry said the whole discussion involved a property on Van Dorn.
“But the swap idea was never a part of that discussion,” he said.
He related a discussion brought forth by alderman Calvin James asking if there could be a new road connecting Highway 178 from near the bus shop.
“I think we have to be careful how that process works,” the mayor said. “At some point we have to all stay in our own lanes.”
“Point well taken,” said Payne, and the discussion ended.
DeBerry resurrected the topic of the board’s override of his veto which upheld the board’s motion to hire GCA to do the cleaning in five city buildings.
“It seems we got two different prices,” DeBerry said.
He pointed to a price offered that included expendable supplies and one that excluded them.
“What is expendables?” the mayor asked public works director Micheal Crittle.
He answered that a bid by GCA of $3,988 monthly was approved and another higher offer was if GCA furnished its own cleaning supplies.
DeBerry pointed to page two where the GCS had wording dealing with employee rate changes in case of unionization.
“It seems like we have a provision for change of rates,” the mayor said.
Crittle said the bid was just standard contract language and if the city wants to change the language it could do it. He said anything the city did not want included in the contract could be marked out.
“OK, we could adjust that bid. If we are talking about bringing them on by January 3, we’ll need this contract. We are looking at less than two weeks.”
Attorney Ki Jones advised that the city can negotiate with the contract person. Crittle said his name was David Ross, the regional manager.
Crittle said the contract should be offered for a nine-month period to terminate September 30 when all other service contracts are to be renewed or rebid.
“It’s the only way to get back in line to where we ought to be,” said Crittle, referring to the end of the fiscal year.
DeBerry said the contract could be offered on a monthly basis and prorated over nine months.
Crittle provided an update on the city’s proposal to build a splash park on the hillside opposite Spring Hollow Park at Park Avenue.
The city could control traffic with speed breakers on the section of Park Avenue opposite the proposed park without cutting the street off to traffic from Memphis Street to Spring Street.
Alderman Russell Johnson asked if the city has plans for an environmental study where the old city shop was located near the proposed splash park. He asked if the grade is suitable for a wading pool.
“Is it going to be above grade?” he asked.
“I perceive it will be,” Crittle said.
He said the outer areas of the pad, where the pool will be built, will slope away from the pool to keep runoff water from entering the pool. He said the planning and design would be outsourced to IMS Engineering Firm.
DeBerry explained that bids for playground equipment, the pool and other items need to be ready so the board can open bids before the end of January. This would give the city about five months to complete its list of requests before the grant timeline runs out in the summer.
Payne motioned and the board approved the measure to obtain bids.
Police chief voted on
The position of police chief was brought back to the table and aldermen motioned back and forth on who they wanted to offer the job to. Alderman Payne motioned to offer the position to a veteran police officer from the Memphis area and his motion failed to get a majority vote.
Then alderman Johnnie Ree Bagley-Johnson motioned to offer the job to the second candidate remaining in the top tier of three candidates.
“If he declines, we offer the position to the other candidate, but I feel we should offer it to the top candidate first,” she said.
Colhoun seconded and the motion passed 3-2 with Payne and James voting nay.
DeBerry said Friday he had called James Dean to offer him the job and Dean had accepted the position. Dean is from Missouri.
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