Animal control and budget problems remained hot topics at the July 7 Cherokee Village City Council meeting.
Prior to the approval of the agenda, Alderman Curtis Bratcher proposed an addendum, to address a reserve policy in respect to the city's budget. Alderman Lynn Maxedon had a second addition to the agenda as the council considered revising the budget to reflect a $4,000 reduction in supplies for the animal control budget and an addition of $3,400 to the city buildings and grounds budget for repairs and maintenance of buildings and grounds. Both later passed.
The Farmer's Market in Cherokee Village was set for opening July 9 and will operate from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday's. Mayor Llyod Hefley told the council he currently has four vendors for the market.
Discussion then ensued about a recent problem with a business permit issued to a person who sells produce on the parking lot of city hall. Alderwoman Verna Mae Newman questioned the mayor about whether the family has a current business permit. The mayor assured her they do. Alderman Tom Thone then relayed that the city had allegedly refused a permit for someone to sell produce on the lot on Saturdays. Charles Deloach, with Planning and Zoning and Code Enforcement , told the council he had no knowledge of this incident. He said if one permit was issued, then anyone wanting one should be able to obtain a permit.
The problem occurred when the city opened the Farmer's Market. One family had been allowed to sell produce at the city hall parking lot on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Presley family has sold produce in the location for years, despite a city resolution indicating the sales can only take place on Saturdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The person seeking the same type of permit was allegedly denied one. The mayor suggested the city should revise the old resolution and enforce it. Due to the fact it has never been enforced in nine years, Alderman Lynn Maxedon said he didn't feel it was fair to the persons who had run the produce stand for years. He felt that the ordinance should be passed and allow for there to be a cut off time for the family.
Alderman Jerry Adams, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Farmer's Market, as well as overseeing the work, painting and renovations of the building, explained to the councilwhy he was no longer involved in the market. Adams explained the Presley's were issued the permit to sell produce prior to the establishment of a city farmer's market.
He said he had spoken with one of the persons who ran the stand and asked if they would like to be part of the Farmer's Market. He indicated, due to the woman's "Sabbath" being on Saturday, she was not interested. Adams said he then extended her an invitation to open at a time more convenient for her, to which she also explained she wasn't interested.
After presenting the woman with the resolution, he said she slapped it out of his hand. Because the mayor knowingly allowed someone to violate a resolution, Adams said, "You have to let everyone do it." He said he felt Hefley undermined his authority as a member of the city council and that he was no longer a part of the Farmer's Market.
Hefley responded he didn't think it was right for the city to issue a permit and then enforce the resolution. He asked city attorney Jon Abele if the city could rescind the permit. The attorney assured council they could rescind the permit.
Former Alderman Peter Martin, who videotapes city council sessions, spoke up and explained his concerns with possibly rescinding the permit.
He said the city wants to bring people and commerce to the city and the people who have the produce stand are increasing traffic. Martin said he feels, as a city, rescinding an already issued business permit didn't seem in their best interest. Council then voted to rescind the the Presley's license.
Bill Matselboba then addressed council regarding animal control and explained the importance of the existence of the shelter and the public's support. He also told of upcoming plans for fundraisers to benefit the shelter.
Alderman Curtis Bratcher presented to council a handout regarding setting reserve amounts for the city. Bratcher said the city needs a policy defining ways to maintain and the criteria for setting a reserve. The proposal was designated to be taken into consideration when establishing a 2012 budget. Because of the particulars, Abele suggested it be contained in a resolution. Council will discuss the issue at a later date.
Cherokee Village City Council meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.