Mayor Stokes chairs first council meeting
New Cherokee Village Mayor Russell Stokes chaired his first meeting since being sworn in and presented a State of the City report on Thursday, Jan. 15. The meeting was also the first for three new council members, Robert Smith, Steve Thompson and Chuck Kristopeit.
State of the City Address
In the State of the City Address, Stokes listed the opening of a Welcome Center at city hall as one of the city's achievements in 2014. The Cherokee Village Planning and Promotions Committee began working over the summer to create a center to provide information to tourists, people looking to relocate and local residents. The office opened in September when space became available in city hall.
After four years of work, a new walking trail opened in July. The Tohi Trail, is a paved walking trail with handicapped accessible with restrooms, located near Freds, partially funded by an $88,000 state grant.
The city animal shelter joined a network with animal adoption agencies across the nation last year, allowing more options for local animals to be adopted, helping cut the cost of housing animals at the shelter.
In 2014, the fire department began doing inspections at businesses and schools, and the police department obtained laptop computers for patrol vehicles through funding provided by Third District Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce.
Road and Street Superintendent John Kyllo asked for council approval to purchase a new backhoe and sell an outdated one to help play for the new one. The council approved the purchase after Kyllo indicated there were enough funds in his budget to cover the expense.
Pat Clary, of the Advertising and Promotions Commission, said there had been overwhelming response to announced plans for the Cherokee Village 60th anniversary celebration in June. She expects the events to draw new visitors to the area.
Bob Bickle of Planning and Zoning held hearings regarding plans to remove violations and clean up unsightly city properties at 1 Vista Larga Drive and 6 North Apache Drive. Bickle documented that the property owners were notified that they could avoid action by the city by resolving violations and cleaning up the properties. Since the owners have not responded, the council gave Bickle permission to move forward.
As required by state law at its first meeting of the year, the council passed resolutions setting meeting dates and times, procedures for city council meetings and guidelines for appointments to committees and commissions. The council also approved the city budget for the new fiscal year. It named Chuck McMahon to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in the event Stokes is unable to attend a meeting.
At the end of the meeting, Jerry Adams and Chuck Kristopeit were honored for their service to the Planning and Zoning Committee.