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published on 09/10/2002

September Town Council Meeting

By staff writer

Green Giants Swim Team
GREEN GIANTS PRESENT TROPHEY - SEE PICTURE. The regular meeting of the Town Council of the Town of Signal Mountain met, Monday, September 9, 2002 at 7:00 PM. Present were Mayor Jim Althaus, Vice-mayor and Councilmember Bob Steel, Councilmembers Billy Steele and Steve Ruffin. Councilmember Rachel Bryant was absent. Also present were town manager Hershel Dick, town attorney Phil Noblett, and town recorder Diana Campbell.

The Mayor opened the meeting with a prayer and then Diana Campbell called roll. The minutes of the last regular meeting for August 12, 2002 were approved as corrected.

There were four Resolutions presented for approval at the meeting.

Resolution A: ADOPTING THE RECORDS RETENTION MANUAL APPROVED BY THE MUNICIPAL TECHNICAL ADVISORY SERVICE AS THE OFFICIALRECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN. State law requires municipal officials to establish retention schedules for all records created by the municipal government. By adopting this Resolution the Town of Signal Mountain is committing to setting the schedule and keeping the records according to that schedule. After adopting the resolution, attorney Phil Noblett pointed out that with the new addition to the Town Hall the records will be stored better and the Mayor pointed out that old out-dated records can now be purged making room for more recent records.

Resolution B: AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE, TO EXECUTE AN AMENDMENT TO THE INTERLOCAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN …….. TO PROVIDE THE CITY OF SWEETWATER WITH CHIPPING, SHREDDING AND/OR DGRINDING OF YARD WASTE SERVICES. Basically, this resolution provides an amendment to an agreement already in place with the Town of Cleveland to share the chipper machine. In order to add another town to the share list a resolution needed to be passed. Cleveland wanted to add Sweetwater and needed the Town of Signal Mountain to agree. After discussion, and Hershel Dick’s assurance that this was a good resolution and would help cut the costs of maintaining the shredder shared by the towns, the Council voted to adopt the resolution.

Resolution C: APPROVING THE CHATTANOOGA URBAN AREA BICLCLE FACILITIES MASTER PLAN. The Chattanooga Urban Area bicycle Facilities Master Plan has been completed and adopted the plan does not require implemented it, but only means the Town of Signal Mountain is subscribing to the whole area plan, according to Mayor Althaus. However, a portion of the plan does include the Town of Signal Mountain along James Boulevard to Mississippi Avenue to Taft Highway and along Ridgeway Drive and back to James Boulevard. A detailed map is available at the Town Hall.

Resolution D: ADOPTING A PROCLAMATION TO CELEBRATE THE CHARACTER OF THE HEROES OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, ON BEHALF OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN. See this proclamation in detail on the home page. Requested by the International Chief of Police and edited to fit our community by town attorney Phil Noblett, the Town Council approved this resolution with approval and applause from the audience.

Complete, detailed versions of each of these Resolutions is available at the Town Hall.

Several citizens spoke before the Council.

A representative from Westfield asked the blessing of the Town Council to plant Leland Cypress trees randomly among the existing trees within the greenbelt between Taft Highway (Ridgeway Drive) and the service road behind the townhouses running along the highway. According to Hershel Dick, permission to plant the trees was not needed by the Design Review Committee as it was included in the original development agreement. However, the residents wanted to assure the Town that it was being done right and at the owners expense and would benefit the Town as well as insure privacy and cut down on the sounds from the road to the residents.

Members of the Signal Mountain Green Giants swim team presented the Mayor and Town Council with the two trophies won this year by the team. Mayor Althaus congratulated the team.

Robert White presented the Town of Signal Mountain a new CD Rom called the Marrcrest Experience. He explained that this CD included a history of Walter Marr, the man who built Marrcrest, a segment on the Signal Mountain Historic District, and a recording of the “Four Season’s of Marrcrest”, a beautiful piece of music written by Dan Landes to honor the White’s and the designation of their home Marrcrest as a registered site on the National Historic Registry. Robert also presented each of the Councilmembers and other town officials with a copy and plans to give them to each of the homes within the Historic District.

A representative from Voice Stream, Jay Sanders, asked the Town’s approval to mount antennas on the existing American town at 1026 Ridgeway Avenue. Approved by the Design Review Commission, and recommended by Willard Wagner, Hershel Dick asked the Council to approve the request which they did.

Under new business, Councilmembers are given an opportunity to voice their opinions and bring up concerns brought to them by citizens. Councilmember Steve Ruffin began by voicing his concern over citizens who choose to use the phorum provided by this web site and refuse to sign their names. He then praised each of the Councilmembers present and offered a standing ovation to them.

Vice-mayor Bob Steel responded by thanking Councilmember Ruffin for his kind remarks and then thanked Robert White for his generous gift and effort into making part of Signal Mountain an Historic District. He also voiced his opinion for the Signal Mountain Post and its decision to continue running stories about people who are arrested up here on the mountain. He finds exposing them embarrassing for the families as well as the Town and feels that it is uncalled for. He praised Hershel Dick for his devotion, Phil Noblett for his dedication and wished more town people would attend the meetings. As this was his last meeting as a Councilmember, he spoke on how much he enjoyed serving on the Council and hoped the new people that followed him would too.

Mayor Althaus thanked Dr. Steel and challenged him to come to meetings as a member of the audience after he leaves office. He then read a funny “story” he got from his daughter about a “governmentium” and how it runs.

Attorney Phil Noblett brought to the Council’s attention the current law, a constitutional provision that dates back to 1796, that forbids fines of more than $50 without a jury trial, making it difficult to enforce code violations that could pose tremendous public health and safety risks. On November 5, 2002, cities throughout Tennessee have a tremendous opportunity to change this by voting YES to the amendment. Doing so would bring towns into the 21st century and open the door to make fines more appropriate in relation to the violations.

The meeting closed at 7:50 PM
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