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published on 10/15/2002

Town Council Presents Plaques

By staff writer

Mayor presents plaques
The Town of Signal Mountain held its monthly meeting on Monday, October 14, 2002, at 7:00 PM. Present at the meeting were Mayor Jim Althaus, Vice-mayor and Councilmember Bob Steel, Councilmembers Billy Steele, Steve Ruffin, and Rachel Bryant. Also present were town manager Hershel Dick, town attorney Phil Noblett, and town recorder Diana Campbell.

After the prayer and roll, the minutes of the September 9th regular meeting were approved.

There were five resolutions presented at this meeting for approval.

A.Resolution authorizing the Chief of the Town of Signal Mountain Police Department to enter into Mutual Aid Agreements with various governmental entities. Chattanooga Police Chief, Jimmy Dotson, requested this agreement along with other communities in the Chattanooga area in order to provide assistance to other jurisdictions and information necessary for other parties to provide assistance to the Signal Mountain Police Department. A copy of this mutual agreement in its entirety is available at the Town Hall.

B.Resolution authorizing the Town Manager to establish a policy prohibiting the Town of Signal Mountain from supplementing Worker’s Compensation indemnity payments above the amount required by T.C.A. (#50-6-207) after ninety (90) days. Evidently, the Town of Signal Mountain had a prior policy of paying supplemental disability payments up to full compensation following work related injuries and that tended to keep employees from returning to work on a timely basis. The Tennessee Municipal Pool (the Town’s insurance company) therefore required the Town change its policy or the Town’s workman’s compensation premiums were going to be increased.

C.Resolution authorizing the Town Manager to enter into a contract with Signal Mountain Playhouse, Inc. concerning the use of Town-owned property and indemnifying the Town of Signal Mountain from liability. Entering into this agreement releases the Town from any liability associated with the activities of the Signal Mountain Playhouse, which is a separate Tennessee non-profit corporation. According to town attorney, Phil Noblett, approving this resolution is a good decision as it protects the Town.

D.Resolution appointing members to the Signal Mountain Parks Board. According to town manager, Hershel Dick, Sam Powell, the current head of the Board and the members of the Board requested the appointments. Current members Sandra Woodward and Anne Ozburn were asked to renew their appointments. William Fronk, will be a new member of the board. All appointments are a five-year term.

E.Resolution awarding contract for striping streets. Approval of this resolution gives the contract of striping of various streets in the Town to Volunteer Highway Supply Company, Inc. who presented the lowest bid of $12,090.00.

All these resolutions were approved unanimously.

There was no Planning Commission report as there was no meeting held. No motions, other reports or items discussed, and there were no other bids.

Under new business, Councilmembers have an opportunity to speak. Councilmember Rachel Bryant praised the Signal Mountain Fire Department for holding the attention and presenting a great program at Signal Mountain Middle School on Fire Prevention recently. She also thanked Councilmembers Bob Steel and Billy Steele for their service to the Town Council.

Councilmember Steve Ruffin praised the LSU Tigers for winning this weekend’s football game over Mayor Jim Althaus’ Florida Gators.

Vice-mayor and Councilmember Bob Steel spoke in praise of town manager Hershel Dick and town recorder Diana Campbell. He also spoke in praise of the work he and Jim Althaus and all the other previous members of the Council these past years, who worked hard to do the right thing for the Town, despite the complaints by some today that the Town has been mismanaged. He said he would miss the close relationship he has with the Police Department most of all.

Mayor Jim Althaus spoke on his surprise to see the sample ballot in the Times Free Press last week showed the Town of Signal Mountain was to elect five of the six candidates running. Placing a call to town attorney Phil Noblett at 6:15 AM that morning Phil promptly got in touch with Fran Dzik from the Hamilton County Election Commission.

According to Phil Noblett, new ballots had to be printed. Bringing this to the commission’s attention also brought them up to date with the unique charter of the Town of Signal Mountain. They were unaware of the fact that two members always remain in office and three positions run for election (allowing for continuity). The way the commission had it set up, not only would the ballot invalidated the six candidates running on November 4th, but it would have also invalidated the positions currently held by Steve Ruffin and Rachel Bryant who are not running for office. Also the Signal Mountain judges election held every eight years would have been missed.

Town manager, Hershel Dick, informed the Council that the work on the Town Hall was just about finished. The bids for painting both the Town Hall and Fire Station go out this week with openings on October 25th, according to town recorder, Diana Campbell. The new color of both buildings is TAUPE.

The final order of business was the presentation of plaques to Councilmembers Bob Steel and Billy Steele by Mayor Althaus in appreciation of their service to the Town of Signal Mountain.

The meeting closed in record time at 7:25 PM.
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