While the doors for meetings are normally unlocked well before meeting time, a representative of the city did not open the doors until 6:25. The large group was less than pleased, and could be heard complaining about being locked out prior to meeting time.
Renea Orr, a landowner threatened by the annexation issue, spoke to council during the "public comments about agenda items," section. Orr voiced concerns regarding a Feb. 14 planning and zoning meeting which she attended. Orr and her husband, Phillip, are among the residents concerned about the possibility of the city trying to annex their land against their will.
Lana Hamilton, the city's clerk/treasurer who doesn't normally attend committee meetings, said that she taped the last planning and zoning meeting. Orr asked that someone make sure it is accurate and that someone is responsible for a master copy.
Alderman Tom Thone said he felt this was a good idea. A motion was passed by council to insure in the future the meetings are properly recorded.
Later, Phillip Orr also addressed the council with several questions regarding planning and zoning rules and regulations, including asking council how he could speak at one of the meetings. It seemed as if no one knew any of the answers to Orr's questions. Hefley simply told him to ask to be put on the agenda. Orr explained the meeting was a public meeting, and he felt he should be allowed to speak. His questions were left unanswered.
The public's displeasure with planning and zoning was a reoccurring topic throughout the meeting.
During the public comments section of the meeting. a local resident addressed council, despite Mayor Hefley asking for a motion for adjournment, with numerous residents still wishing to voice their concerns.
After being reminded by both a media representative and residents that the agenda plainly states residents have three minutes to discuss concerns with no designation of how many residents are allowed to speak, a few more came to the podium.
Hefley became angry and stated, "This is not a public meeting." The statement brought forth discord in the crowd. "I am not going to sit here all night and listen to this," the mayor said.
Residents became angry and told him they listened to his State of the City report with respect, and felt they deserved the same respect. He was also reminded, the people asking to speak were the ones who elected him. The mayor reluctantly allowed one more person to speak before again requesting a motion for adjournment.
A member of the audience who is against the annexation, and did not state his name prior to his address, said, "During the last city council meeting, Alderman Tom Thone asked Planning and Zoning, Tom Hrezo, to explain the justification of trying to annex areas beyond the existing boundaries, and no one was allowed comment on this before adjournment of the council meeting. Therefore, I request that a motion be made from city council for preparation of a declaration of minimum requirements establishing city growth, city development, written notification to potentially affected land owners, hearing guidelines, and the explanation of the need of annexation be made, within the guidelines of state statutes, before any future requests for preliminary expenditures of annexation is made by planning and zoning with a vote and members present. I respectfully submit that to council consideration."
Hefley ignored the resident's suggestion and, for the third time, requested for a motion to adjourn.
Alderwoman Verna Mae Newman made the motion and council adjourned with a group of angry residents wishing for answers to their questions.