The Thayer City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, May 11. Before the meeting began, Mayor Rogers made it clear that this and all future council meetings would be handled a bit more business-like than the previous meeting in April which followed the hotly contested elections.
"If you want to talk to the council, you're going to have to be on the agenda," said Rogers. "We are going to run this the way the ordinance says. I'm not going to have any loud talk, or fussing or quarreling in here. If so, I will ask you to be dismissed. We're going to run this like a business meeting, not a boxing ring."
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer, Mayor Rogers called for approval of all meeting minutes from previous sessions between the April regular meeting and the current one.
The financials were also approved, along with the payment of all bills due.
Mayor Rogers then asked the council members if they would approve a measure to allow city hall to pay invoices as they came due, instead of holding all bills until they could be approved at a regular session of city council, as is currently the case.
"We get some bills paid late using the current system, and I don't like being late on payments," said Rogers. "So, unless there's a question about a bill, I would like your approval to go ahead and pay these bills as they come in to the office."
The council members agreed and voted to give the mayor permission to pay bills as they come due.
The council then proceeded to approve an electrical license for Jim Underwood, and were set to review an application for a business license requested by Sam Edwards to raise fish in his home, but as Mr. Edwards did not attend the meeting, that was tabled.
The council then moved to approve equipment for the water department, the electrical department and the parks department.
Next on the agenda was a request from the Oregon County Health Department to utilize the city pool a few times a week in July for an exercise class.
There was some discussion about the cost of paying the lifeguards, and if the city would charge the health department for the access.
"As it's scheduled now, the lifeguards would need to come in about an hour or so early," said Councilman Mike Harber.
"I would prefer not paying any lifeguards overtime if we can help it," said Mayor Rogers.
The council agreed to discuss moving the start time of the classes to noon, which would only require the lifeguards to come in half an hour early, and it was agreed that a conversation would take place with both the pool manager and representative from the health department regarding the situation. The council moved to allow the health department to use the pool at no cost, if a workable solution could be found.
Two concerned citizens then addressed the council regarding rundown properties adjacent to their own.
"I just sunk $15,000 into my house - my house looks nice," said Mr. Huff. "Of all the houses on my block, they all look good except for that one. It looks like Herman Munster lives there. I've been trying to buy it; I offered the lady $6,000 and she wouldn't budge. The grass is very tall over there. When the gentleman who lived there was alive, I used to cut the grass there. Since he died, no one lives there. There's a homeless guy staying there, and I don't bother him because everybody's been down on their luck once or twice. Personally, I think they should clean it up or sell it. The back roof is falling in, the front roof is starting to fall in, the windows are all broken out on it."
It was discussed that the property in question had been cleaned up by the city last year, and the city had still not received payment for doing so from the homeowner.
Councilman Steve Alford recommended consulting with the city attorney to see if anything could be done about the property.
"We can only do what the city ordinance lets us do," said Councilman Bob Freeman.
"Condemned houses create a health hazard, and we could approach it that way," said Harber.
The council then asked Police Chief David Bailey for his input.
"Until the city decides to take them to court, there is very little we can do," said Bailey.
"There are several properties around here that need to be tended to, so we're going to have to make an ordinance with some teeth in it to handle these situations," said Alford.
The council agreed to table the discussion until such time as they could meet with the city attorney and discuss their options.
Another citizen then asked the council how many dogs a resident is allowed to own.
"We've already been through that," said Alford. "You can have two."
"Well, the people behind me have three dogs and they bark all day and all night long," said the citizen.
"If those dogs are barking, call the police station and they can come over and address the situation," said Mayor Rogers.
The final order of business for the council was a bid from King's Ready Mix for road repairs within the city for the upcoming months.
"Haven't we had some trouble with King's asphalt," asked Harber.
"We've had quite a bit of trouble, but he's the only guy who does small jobs," said Mayor Rogers.
The council agreed that a contract needed to be drawn up assuring the quality of the mix along with breakdowns for everything that would be done.
With that, the council adjourned.