The Ashland Council met Monday, February 4, 2019 for the regular scheduled meeting to conduct city business. Discussion in the planning session prior to the meeting included the process of attaining a new truck for the police department.
This vehicle would not be used to patrol or used in high pursuit, but yet as a functional admin vehicle to be used as needed. This purchase would also take one of the chargers out of fleet circulation. Chief Stanford explained that the chargers were eating up their expense budget with vehicle repairs.
The Chief went on to explain that there have been many times that a pickup truck has been needed and that this vehicle could be passed down to other departments after taken out of circulation when the time came.
There was also brief discussion about the use of the donated property by Staley Fincher from the Mary Lou Lucas estate. Most everyone felt that it should be cleared out and used for additional parking. This property includes a storefront and a shop behind a parking area located on the east side of the square.
There was also discussion of setting up a rescheduled date for the Mayor and Council to tour TruCabinetry, since their original date had to be cancelled due to the threat of winter weather.
Maintenance Supervisor Les Robinson reported his crew had painted the kitchen at the Senior Center and finished up the landscaping around the facility, cleaned out the street gutters on Howard Ballard Drive, put out 215 bales of mulch, began cutting grass at old high school field and the field at Northside, had cut and re-mulched mulch out on shrubbery on the West Side of Square behind the buildings.
Robinson also stated he had an Alabama Power Representative coming to give an estimate/bids on putting in additional street lights that the council had discussed recently. Robinson also reported they had started their massive anti-litter campaign, but that people were throwing it out as fast as they could pick it up.
With upcoming baseball/softball season soon upon us, Council member Tommy Cantrell thanked the maintenance department for doing such a great job on getting the fields ready.
Chief Stanford reported one of his officers had made a pretty good traffic bust over the weekend and gave a brief update on interest in the open patrol officer position and their officer who was in the academy, who is doing well.
The following agenda items were approved:
- Approval to pay current bills.
- Approval to pay City Attorney John Kelley Johnson $11,830.00 for services rendered from march 2017- October 2018.
- Approval to pay SEMS Fire Protection $525.00 for ladder testing ( paid from Fire Department Fund)
- Approval for Court Clerk Robin Catrett, Magistrate Sarah Mckemie, and Judge Megan Yates to attend 2019 Regional Seminar for Court Officials on April 04-05, 2019 in Birmingham, and to pay registration fees totally $585.00 ( $195.00 per person) and reimburse travel expenses.
- Approval for Clay County Chamber of Commerce to use the Ashland Industrial Park for the Clay County Fair occurring May 1-4, 2019.
- Approval to pay Hurst Construction, LLC. a final payment of $10,331.76 for renovations to Ashland Police Department.
- Approval to switch internet providers at Ashland City Maintenance from CenturyLink to Charter, which will reduce costs.
- Approval for Mayor, 2 Council members, and Assistant City Clerk to attend the Annual League of Municipalities Conference in Mobile, AL at a registration cost of $350.00, lodging cost of $185.00 per night, and reimburse travel expenses.
- Approval to pay Latham & Associates $1008.00 for architectural services for the Ashland Police Department.
- Approval to pay $375.00 S. S. Nesbit fees for quarterly consulting fees.
- Approval to prepare a spec sheet and solicit bids for a new pick up truck for the police department and open bids on March 4, 2019 at 5:00 pm.
In Old Business, there were two Resolutions approved:
- Resolution No. 02-04-2019-01: to add Senior Center Director Scotty Parker and Van Driver Jeanette Johnson as signers on the Ashland Senior Center Checking Account at First State Bank.
- Resolution No. 02-04-2019-02: in Support of Protecting Local Control over public streets and public assets and call on Congress to reaffirm such local control by reversing recent FCC actions related to wireless facilities by enacting H.R. 530 (This Act is cited as the “Accelerating Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019”)
At the close of the meeting, after a motion had been made to adjourn, a person in attendance, identified as Barry Rollins, stood up, addressing the council with a profanity-laced rant. Rollins stated that his property had recently been burglarized and was upset that “nothing was being done about it”. Below is his statement in its entirety uncensored:
Rollins: “My house has been broke in and I’ve had people in my shop and yet, nobody’s even come up with no idea. I know more about who done it, what done it, when they done it, and how many houses they have broke in. It’s time to change. The next one, I’m probably gonna go to prison because I’m gonna shoot them. Now, I’m tired of this, I’m fed up with it. The law needs to get their asses up and go to work or we gonna get a lot more people in here. I have called since November about people stealing gas and everything else out of my cars. I’m selling my house and I’m going to get the hell out of this town because its a bunch of damn bullshit. “
At this point, Rollins was interrupted by Mayor Fetner telling him that he was not on the agenda and they would talk to him in just a minute, to which seemed to anger Rollins further as he continued yelling on his way out to the door.
Rollins: “Well, you need to talk to somebody else cuz I tell you, the next person that talks to you is going to be really upset. They walked through the middle of my yard today, this evening. Y’all need to figure out what you gonna do and get your asses to work or you better get somebody who will. I’m telling you! I lost six thousand dollars worth of stuff last Friday. $6000 for no reason. “
Rollins then left and the meeting was adjourned. All members were present at this session, with the exception of Kim Cain.