On June 28, 2016, an Alexander City Work Release Inmate, Robert Hunt, walked off the job site of Koch Foods, at approximately 10:40 p.m. The Ashland Police Department received notification of the escapee at 1:00 p.m., on Wednesday, June 29, through our NCIC machine, notifying us of the escapee. Later that afternoon, information was received that the subject was still in the area, and a manhunt began. On Friday July 1, 2016, at approximately 11:00 a.m. Mr. Hunt was located near the address of 891 2nd Ave. N, in Ashland. He was taken into custody by Department of Corrections Investigators and transported back to Prison.
The Ashland Police Department, along with the Mayor, Hon. Larry Fetner, would like to thank all of the departments involved in the manhunt including: Clay County Sheriff’s Department, Linville Police Department, Alabama Department of Corrections K-9 unit as well as investigations, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama Fire Marshall’s Service, the United States Marshall Services, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (helicopter, SBI) and all of the diligent citizens that continued to work
The Board of Education met Monday, June 27, 2016 for their regular monthly meeting with all members present.
Before the meeting was called to order, a moment of silence was observed in memory of Mrs. Anne Morrow, first grade teacher at Ashland Elementary, who passed away unexpectedly last month.
As in previous meetings, a representative from the Washington Heights community, Mr. Terry Heflin, was present to address the Board in reference to the fate of the old vocational school building. Heflin stated that he had read the Headstart program was no longer interested in attaining the vocational building to expand their services offered to the citizens of Lineville and was asking that the building be turned back over to the community.
Heflin: “I’m going to ask the Board if Headstart pulled out versus having the property surveyed, versus that in waste of money, as the Chairman of the Board said, of a broke school system, and as Mr. Harris said, waste of money to have the property appraised, to bypass this step and go ahead and donate it back to the community”
Walker began to speak, but was interrupted by Heflin, ” Whatever the state will allow…”
Heflin: ” The state, Mrs. Nancy Bay informed me Friday via email that the deeds were already back in Clay County. Megan Yates has them already. She informed me that there were three steps that can to be done. The school system can keep the property, they can donate it back to the community, , or they can have it appraised, hope to sell it, and then donate it back.
Walker: ” We don’t have the deeds here at the office, so once we get the deeds, then we’ll go to that next step.
Heflin: ” So, what do we have to expect as the next step?”
Walker: ” We gotta wait and get the deeds first before we take any step.”
Harris: “And then we’ll decide when we get the deeds. The process has been on all the rest of them ( former schools closed) the same and the state recommends that we do that. We appraise them and put them up for sale. If we can recoup.
Heflin: ” For sale for what they appraise for?”
Heflin: “I’m just going by what you said at the last Board meeting, that it was a waste of money to have the property appraised.”
Harris: ” No, I said it would cost less.”
Heflin:” No, you said it was a waste of money when we had Headstart wanting to invest $900,000 into the property.”
Harris: ” Right. Right I said that. Because if we could have gotten Headstart to… ( interrupted)”
Heflin: ” But Headstart is gone.”
Harris: ” Well then, we’ll go back to the original plan.”
Heflin: ” And the original plan is?”
Harris: ” Have it appraised and try to sell it, and it we can’t, then we can donate it.”
Heflin: ” Ok. So, then we’re looking at what? Another three years?”
Walker: ” I cannot comment on the length of time. I don’t know.”
Heflin: ” Thank you.”
TCR Headstart has made the decision amid the controversy of the ownership of the old vocational school to seek out another location for their expansion. Board members were also given a copy of the letter from TCR stating that they are withdrawing their request for utilizing the Lineville Vocational Building within the community regarding the ownership and use of the school.
HeadStart had chosen the old Lineville Primary School as their new location. They will spend over $900,000 of grant funds making improvements and renovations to this building, as well as the cafeteria to bring it up to code. Headstart will pay for any and all upkeep of the facilities, but they will not pay any rent to the city. Eventually, they hope to utilize the old Elementary school as well in the future.
The expansion of Headstart’s program will include a full inclusive center for children from birth to kindergarten age, including providing mobile services for 8 pregnant women. The total number of children that could be served if these renovations took place would be 59 and 67 counting the pregnant women.
Currently, 28 children are in the TCR program in Lineville, 18- Pre-k 4 year olds, and ten 3 year olds at its current location behind Perryland Foods in Lineville. This is the maximum capacity of for the building at this time.
In other business, Board members were given a handout of the 2016 School Nurse Report. There were several comments when viewing this report as to the amazement of how many students were seen by the nurse every year, especially in elementary schools.
Board members approved all financial reports from the month of May 2016 with no discussion.
The Board voiced their approval for the Clay County Historical Society to access their wi-fi for the security cameras in their museum next door to the BOE Office. Tech Coordinator Brad Strothers explained to the Board that the use of their wi-fi would not give them access to any of the Board’s records. The Historical Society stated that they had to have security cameras in place or they would not be allowed to put any other museum items on display.
In appreciation for the BOE allowing this service, The Historical society also give the Board flexibility to add additional security cameras to that same system for the BOE Office at just the cost of the cameras, without any installation charge, as their technician. Strothers said he didn’t perceive any problems with this taking place, and they were in the process of increasing their bandwidth so that wouldn’t be an issue.
As recommended by the Superintendent, Board members approved the 2017 salary schedules for the 2017 fiscal year that will take effect October 1, 2016. These salary changes will not take place until the Governor signs off on them. This allows the CCBOE staff to begin to work on the 2017 budget. Any differences in these salaries will not exceed a total of $4000, if approved by the state.
The Board approved for CNP Director Juanita Riley to send request for proposal for Point of Sale System and related services and permission to purchase Point of Sale System and related services if price is less than $15,000. As explained by Riley, this is basically an upgrade to the system, as the Point of Sale system being used now has limited capabilities. Riley said that with a new system, they could hopefully add an inventory system, online payment for parents for lunch money, and hopefully lead to field trip fees, etc.
Other items approved included the following:
approval to increase school employee lunch price from $2.65 to $2.70, to be in compliance with USDA regulations.
approval to accept the milk product bid from Barber Dairies. This was the low bid. This bid shall be in effect from August 1, 2016-June 1, 2017, with an option to extend one additional year if mutually agreed.
Approval to accept the bread and bakery bid from Flowers Bakery. This was the only bid. This bid shall be in effect from August 1, 2016-June 1, 2017, with an option to extend one additional year if mutually agreed.
A total of 15 personnel action items were approved with no discussion. Details will be announced tomorrow.
This concluded the agenda items. Informational items included:
An Employee hearing will be held July 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM in the Board room.
The next regular Board meeting will be July 28, 2016.
Board members were given a copy of First Aid protocols for review and vote in July.
The Board then entered into executive session, where no action was taken.
10. This…is…HOME. Wayne Meador took advantage of a great aerial view of the city of Lineville from the catwalk and the end result was this photo. May not mean much to some people, but, hey..this is my hometown and I think it’s amazing! Great shot, Wayne! 9. WHAT?! Southern Momma’s in town?! How did we miss this?! Just about everywhere you go, everyone is talking about Darren Knight and his hilarious Southern Momma videos. And although, we have him as some type of celebrity, he is, in fact, from the Oxford area. However, something tells me we will be seeing more of him on a national level at some point. It’s only a matter of time! In fact, Darren has already hinted that something may be in the works from him already! We’re rooting for you, Darren! This photo was posted to Darren’s wall ( and I stole it) when he was in Lineville seeking legal advice from the Law Office of Megan Miller Yates. Please come back and see us again, Darren…
8. Being a little girl is simply exhausting! It seems that adorable little Makaila Raven Parker is known for falling asleep wherever she sits down, just like her Mommy, according to Robin Parker. When you see something this cute, its hard not to ruin the Kodak moment by pinching those sweet little cheeks, waking them from their peaceful slumber! Sweet Dreams, Makaila! Parents are Eric and Robin Parker.
7. Ok, this isn’t as bad as it looks, LOL! 20 month old Hope Campbell is chowing down on some Nutella…and she even got a little in her mouth! 😀 God knows, we’ve all been guilty of making sure our babies have a little snack while they are traveling, it keeps them quiet and everyone is happy! But when we reach our destination, then there’s only one thing to do. Grab a water hose and hose ’em down, LOL! Parents are Mandy and BJ Campbell.
6. This view is simply stunning and looks like something off of a postcard. But indeed, this breathtaking moment was captured by Rusty Taylor, while he was visiting in Fairhope, Alabama at Point Clear. Very easy to see how it got its name. I tell ya, With a view like that, I probably would’ve never came back either, LOL. Beautiful shot, Rusty!
5. This one is a 2-fer! The colorful finale of Fitness Fun Camp at the Clay County Wellness Center, caught at just the right moment! This year, the Wellness Center reported a record year with the camp and I can tell you from the photos I’ve seen, that it looks like everyone had a blast!
4. Just looks like a pair of hands, doesn’t it? Nothing special, right? What you are seeing here is probably the last picture a loving daughter will ever have of her holding her mother’s hand. As Christy Horn sits by her mother’s bedside watching her slip away a little at a time, she looks down and notices a strong resemblance in their hands. It’s a bittersweet moment that is captured on camera and will most likely become a prized possession as time steals her mother’s Earthly presence. A heartbreaking, yet beautiful moment…Please be in prayer for this family.
3. So, I scroll through my newsfeed and if I see an interesting pic that makes me smile, I save it. BUT sometimes, I forget to name the picture so I can contact the person who took it for permission. I have given up trying to find out who this picture belongs to, so I’m just going to post it, because its funny and it makes me laugh. But I have no idea who these kids are, LOL. Sorry, Mom and Dad, not sorry 🙂
2. This little girl is SERIOUS about her ice cream and you can tell she ain’t playing around either! When Grandma decided to give 5 month old A’Myah Neely a taste of the good stuff, this little one LOVED it! She was all ready to trade in that formula too, when it was taken away from her, and she was MAD! How do you go back to driving a Volkswagon after driving a Cadillac? Sorry A’Myah, but you’re just gonna have to wait a little while longer before you are introduced to such naughty, deliciousness 🙁
1. This picture is just downright funny to me! This priceless moment was captured when two year old Lawson Burton was making his way down the slide and I THINK it may have went just a little faster than he was expecting, resulting in one of the most hilarious expressions I have ever seen on a toddler. Either that, or he is loving it and in hog heaven embracing his adventurous side. The world may never really know…for now anyway. All I gotta say is thanks for the laugh, Lawson. I sure needed that. And what in the world is up with that bowl? LOL. Parents are Zach and Krystal Burton.
An excellent crowd turned out for the grand opening of the new Clay County Chamber of Commerce office location on Friday, June 24, 2016. Those in attendance enjoyed delicious refreshments and lots of fellowship. A ribbon cutting was also held to commemorate this historic event.
The Chamber’s new office is probably better known to others as the former Cheaha Cabinets on Hwy 9. The Chamber, in conjunction with the Economic Development Council, will both be housed in this building and both can be reached at 256-396-2828.
Chamber CEO Tiffany Young was very pleased at the great turnout of this event and is very excited at the opportunities this new office location will offer their chamber members and hopefully reach out for more. Chamber membership has fallen over the past few years and one reason is believed to be because they were operating from a mobile office. “The Chamber is hopeful that having an office will restore our businesses and communities belief in all that the Chamber is doing and will do in the future. We appreciate the support of our members as we have made this transition and we hope this opens new doors for our county”, said Young.
Young stated that she is very pleased with this new location because it sits almost directly between both cities.
The Ashland Council met Thursday, June 23, 2016 for a special called meeting. The main focus of this meeting was to address the resignation of Maintenance Supervisor, Jeremy Nash, which was never accepted at the general meeting, due to lack of motion.
Nash is no longer interested in being the Supervisor, but wished to step down from this position and just go back to be being a crew member. The hour-long session featured several comments from some of the maintenance crew, as council members tried to get to the bottom of any conflict going on in that department. Nash is the fourth supervisor in the past four years who has resigned from this position and stepped down.
Although he respected Nash’s decision, Mayor Larry Fetner admitted he was reluctant to accept his resignation, because he was an excellent employee. “Jeremy’s been good to work with and I hope he will reconsider leaving this position”, say Fetner.
Fetner admitted he really had no idea what was going on within the department, but wished to resolve any problems. ” We got some good, knowledgeable employees here, but what it is going on, we have to nip it in the bud here and work with pride in the job we’re doing. The city expects a days work for a day’s pay. ”
Nash was given the first option to speak:
Jeremy Nash: When I decided to take this position, my main goal was to improve the city and improve the maintenance department. We wanted to make it a good place to work and have people flooding the City Hall wanting to work for our city. Everything was good in the beginning, things were getting done and the morale was great. But as time wore on and there were more responsibilities added to the maintenance department, the morale began to fall. I had no problem with the new additions, because it was our job. I discussed the problems one-on-one because that’s my personality. We had a couple or meetings on it just trying to work it all out. But after awhile, it just seemed to have a snowball effect as far as attitude, disrespect, not doing quality work. Example of picking up trash and debris before the grass is cut. It starting to be quantity and not quality.
This is our busiest time of the year and we’re running at full speed. There’s a lot of issues that we can’t address, so we have to sort of triage it and get the most important issues first that we can. I thank the Mayor, Council, the maintenance crew, and the citizens for allowing me to serve in this position. I always felt that I served the citizens of Ashland and that’s where my paycheck came from. But when attitude starts affecting your whole department and you’ve done all you can do to change it. I’ll admit that I’m not the perfect leader and I’ll take the blame but I’ve done my best.
I’m not here this morning to point fingers at anybody, but I do believe this meeting is needed to get everything out and move toward making things better. My thoughts have always been if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem and I don’t want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution. The biggest reason I wrote that letter of resignation is because the responsibilities have gotten so great on my part that when I go home in the evening, I can’t leave my work here, I take it home with me and it’s affecting my personal life. I can’t enjoy my children. I’m failing as a Christian, as a husband, and as a father, and I’ve been failing as the leadership role of this department.
I love working for the city of Ashland, I enjoy being a volunteer fireman for the city and I’m not trying to paint a pretty picture here. This is just my personality, it’s who I am and if I can’t be true to myself, then I can’t be true to anybody else. I’d love to walk out of this meeting with everything worked out but if attitudes don’t change, nothing will change.
Mayor Fetner asked Nash what they could do to make things batter is he chose to reconsider and stay on as Supervisor, such as maybe hiring another hand to ease the burden of the workload.
Nash: I’m not looking to take pressure of just myself, it’s the whole department. We’re all a team and the pressure is there for all of us. But at the end of the day, when I’m the one who has to answer for things that are just not getting done in the manner that I like to have to them done. and the attitudes are not right. With that being said, I’ve done what I can and what’s in power to be able to help. I’ve probably gone out of my way more than I should. I’m not perfect, by no means. I just want to speak the truth and how I feel about it.
This title has a lot of responsibility and I find myself looking at the past supervisors and what has happened to them over the years. I came in on this position to try to make it a better place to have a better atmosphere and to get more things accomplished, and we’ve done a lot of these things. But it’s come to the point that this position is stressing me out so much that I honestly don’t want this title anymore. I don’t want the responsibility of others people’s actions at all. It’s really burned me bad.
My mind has not changed about stepping down from this position and that’s all I know to tell you. I hold myself to a higher standard than I probably should. But when the attitudes are so negative and I can’t do anything to change that. That part is up to each individual and I feel I’ve done all I can do.
Council member Joe Smith: When you say attitude, is the attitude towards you or towards one another?
Nash: A little bit of both, it just depends. I know we get hot some days and sometimes we may get a little attitude toward one another, but usually that’s nothing we can’t work out. But it’s gotten where there’s a lot of attitude towards me and I probably haven’t handled it the best that I probably should’ve. I probably should’ve handled it a lot more sternly and that’s my fault. I’ve done my best to work it out with one another and if individuals don’t choose to change their attitudes and continue with disrespect, etc.
Smith: When you’ve got someone like that, that’s when you’re supposed to step in and correct that person and bring it before the council and let us correct them.
Council member Becky Boddie: I just hate to see this disagreement. I can’t stand to know that there’s something going on and I’m also involved in it. I don’t mind saying anything, but I don’t know what we need to do. I do know we don’t need to go on with upset people because when we leave here with whatever we supposed to do, we don’t need to discuss it anymore. If we do, it needs to go to out Chairman of it and work it out.
Council member Bobbie Steed: I regret the confusion that’s going on within this department. Sometimes we can’t change people’s attitudes because we don’t know why they choose to have them towards other people. If its on the job, we should be able to listen and be obedient and it might come to the point that the council needs some guidelines to go by, that if they continue to act up and then you get reprimanded and if it continues to go on, then they are terminated. The Council would need to be aware of these guidelines and act on them and not just let things go on.
Mayor Fetner said they did have policies and procedures for this department and asked City Administrator Chelsey Wynn to read them aloud. The proper steps under disciplinary actions were as follows with recommendation from Supervisor, then approval from Council:
demotions/reduction of salary
compensation during discretionary suspension per any criminal activity/civil action of any city employee while under investigation or hearing.
Fetner: I know your hands are full, but I think if you took more time to supervise, I think things would work better for you.
Steed: If the council is not aware of what’s going on, then we can’t do our part. We need to be willing to do our part when it’s presented to us and be stern when handling it. I also feel the council needs to examine ourselves and see if maybe we have overloaded the maintenance department.
Fetner: We have added a lot of things.
Council member Gail Thompson: I agree with Mrs. Boddie and Mrs. Steed. The policies and procedures manual was developed to used. That’s why it was developed and that’s why it’s on the shelf.
Council member Brad Wolfe: I think part of the issue and the distention in my personal opinion has been created by the fact that we have allowed people to step down in the past. We didn’t support it with Ed, because in my personal experience, it doesn’t work. It’s hard to take someone from up here, back down to here (holds up hands to demonstrate) and there not be issues. I had this conversation with Jeremy if it came down to this and I told him I would not support it if it came to it, just because I don’t believe in it. It just doesn’t work. I believe it creates tension and friction and a separation. If you take a leader that steps down, then you have some people in that department who feel like their loyalty still lies toward that former leader and creates a separation that just continues to grow.
In Jeremy’s defense, I have 95 people who report to me, so when there’s an issue, it makes it easier to implement and enforce the policies and procedures manual. However, when you’re working this closely with people everyday and you’re riding in the truck with them, it makes it harder. Now, I’m not making excuses for Jeremy. He should’ve handled his business, but it does make it a little more difficult when you spend that much time with people everyday. It’s a more intimate group and it makes it very hard and awkward to discipline. Jeremy is a big hearted guy and he doesn’t like confrontation, so he wanted to patch it all up by not going down that road and we know where that ended, because it took us here.
Now, I’m sitting here looking at everyone in this room ( refers to maintenance crew members). I can ride through this city and I can see that you all do a really good job and I think you work your tails off getting it done too. But I’m going to tell you what we need, we need a cleansing. I don’t know how else to say it. There’s some issues there that are never going to get resolved, I don’t care how many meetings we have because we are dealing with grown men that have got their opinion and they are set in it and that, more than likely they are not going to change. We’re in a tough spot. We need some leadership to step in here right now and lay down some ground rules that you either need to get on board, or get off that ship. It’s really that simple. That’s the only direction I think we need to go, because it’s gotten to a point that there is some separation. I can see it from right here that it’s there.
A department this small has to be able to work together and we don’t have that right now, we’ve lost it. I don’t know what the answer is, I just know the direction we have to go in to get it and it’s unfortunate. Because there are currently some people who work for the city that may not and I hate that.
Fetner: Jeremy, would you at least reconsider just trying our rules and regulations for just a bit longer to see if they work and I echo what Brad said with going through the policy and procedures that we have in order.
Nash: I understand what you’re saying and I completely agree with you, Brad, but it comes down to that a person is just stuck in your ways and you’re not going to change. I’m that way too and that’s my downfall. I should have used more of our policy. And just like you said, Brad, we’re a tight bunch. We work closely together and we share our personal lives with each other. None of us are perfect, I know I’m not. But I do the best I can as a Christian man to work with the guys, help them out.
That was one of my main goals. I started budgeting in new equipment, new mowers and weedeaters. We do a lot of hard work, might as well have good equipment to work with and just to make it a better environment.
But, again I agree with you, Brad, and that’s what I wanted this meeting to be about, because if our attitudes don’t change, we’re not accomplishing nothing. I want this maintenance department to go on after today and to serve its maximum potential for the citizens of Ashland and not continue what we’ve all been doing. We’re all grown men and it’s gotten to where attitudes have changed us and it’s not good. There’s nothing positive about it.
Fetner again asked Nash to reconsider staying and letting the council help him enforce the policies and procedures manual.
Nash: I’ve tried my best to keep it as professional as I can, but when you work as closely as we all do, it gets personal. You cannot escape that, but I’m not going to be the one to put a person out of their job even is they do deserve it. I’d rather walk away and turn the other cheek than to do that.
Smith: The thing about that is ( addressing Nash) it won’t be you throwing them out of their job, it will be them who does that. It won’t be you, you’re just doing your job. If they’re doing something wrong, and you have to get rid of them on account of it, that’s your job.
Wolfe: Just to cut to the chase here, I feel like we could talk this thing to death, but I think what Jeremy is telling us is that he’s done. He doesn’t want the headache anymore, so we need to decide where we go from here, because we have to have leadership within the maintenance department and we have to find that leadership.
The decision to be made is simply this, we accept his resignation based on his letter and we allow him to step down and continue to work or we don’t accept his resignation and not allow him to step down because if you step down, we are adding a body to the maintenance department. I told Jeremy before that with all we had added to the maintenance department, to let me know if he needed some help because I would fight for him.
In going with what Mrs. Steed said, maybe we do need to look at adding another body. But again, I will say that I don’t feel allowing someone to step down ever works well. I think its what has gotten us here.
Nash: I’ll accept whatever the Mayor and Council decide.I’m not pointing fingers at anybody, I’m accepting the blame because I feel I have failed as a leader. But to me, at the end of the day, God is #1 and my family is #2. I’ve enjoyed my job and I’ve enjoyed working with the council, the Mayor and for the citizens of Ashland. I’ve got to put my priorities in line. I don’t want this to just be about me, I would like to hear what they other guys have to say too.
Maintenance Crew member Jerry Weems: I’ve worked with Jeremy and I’ve worked for him. I have no problems whatsoever with how he has handled his leadership role. Now, some of the other guys may have some issues with some things. But personally, I don’t have any problems with anything Jeremy’s done. I’ve been around long enough and I’ve served under a lot of different leaders and I’ve been one myself through the years. Jeremy seems to have been very fair with each person, from my experience.
Maintenance Crew member (Ed) Edward Waldrop: The stepping down part does make a difference. I’m going to admit that I had an attitude right before I stepped down as Maintenance Supervisor for personal reasons before it got out of hand. I served in this job for a year and a half, and had no problems with any of the guys. Once i stepped down, I kept that attitude because of the way y’all done the pay and the issues ( refers to council). It was all handled wrong. We got procedures to go by and we don’t. There’s a lot we don’t go by. When this pay issue came up, that really got under my skin. There’s really no set pay of nothing. You might get a two-step raise once a year or not. Y’all are supposed to do an evaluation of that employee, turned in by the Supervisor,and if y’all see fit to give that man a raise based on his evaluation. It ain’t working and it’s the morale of all. I’m not pointing fingers at nobody but it’s the whole thing.
Boddie: Have you discussed this with any of us as to what you’re in reference to?
Ed: I was trying to keep the drama down and keep it to myself.
Boddie: Well, you can’t get anything done if you don’t tell anyone what’s bothering you.
Ed: Well, once I stepped down, I never came to another council meeting until here lately. I’m like Jeremy and Jody, I want everyone here to hear it at once, not one on one.
Fetner: So, your issue is with your pay that’s killed your morale?
Ed: That’s part of it, Mayor, but I’m not going to point fingers, like you said because this is open council, but its the morale of a lot of issues. There’s got to be some changes going on or its not going to get any better.
Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Jody Brown: There was some attitude when Ed stepped down like he’s admitting and it affected morale. The policies and procedures has been discussed inside this department over and over again.
I feel like I’ve been treated like a red headed stepchild over this limb issue for pointing it out. I’ve not been listened to by supervision when I say hey, we can’t do this, it’s against policy. And when that happens, you do lose respect and you do lose morale. This has happened time and time again, over discussion of employee’s evaluations and limb routes.
I’m the fellow that’s putting up with the fellows coming to me with these same gripes. And once I go to the Supervisor, I feel like that Supervisor should be in here addressing y’all with these issues and this has failed to happen There’s some issues that he comes to you about and its basically labor but as far as evaluations, trying to get these new hires some kind of pay adjustment for the work that they do has failed to happen.
When Ed was Supervisor, me and Ed had a squabble about evaluations happening in the same way. For some reason, everybody interprets what they read differently in all books and that book is one of them. I try to go by what that book says and I try to protect this city, this is my hometown but there’s no step above me that’s trying to help, trying to solve this problem. It ends like when I say “I’m not going to do it” and it makes me look like the dummy standing around out looking like I don’t want to work or look like the lazy fellow that don’t want to do a job. It’s not being addressed at all and that’s why I wanted this meeting today.
I went to my liaison and I went to Joe and I told everybody in this city that I stepped down when this happened, including Mr. Nash. The morning this happened, I lost a ton of respect and that’s where I’m at and that’s basically all I have to say. I feel like I’ve been let down trying to follow the policy and procedures.
Smith: Well, you shouldn’t feel like you’ve been let down because you were told to do something and you did it. He was your boss. So, you should’t feel like you did anything wrong.
Brown: Well, if your boss tells you to jump off the courthouse, you don’t do it.
Smith: Anytime you working under somebody and your boss tells you do something and you’re working under his supervision, you supposed to do it.
Brown: I disagree with you on that one, Mr. Smith. If you know something is against the rules and against policy, you don’t do it because someone says do it.
Smith: Who would it fall back on? It would fall back on him. He’s the one who told you that you should do it.
Brown: It would fall back on me in my heart. I agree, and I went to my liason and that’s where it died. No action was taken.
Ed: Every one of y’all up there had to fill out an ethic report ( again addressing council). Well, I did too and I’m still under that. If the boss man asks me to do something unethical, no sir, I’m not going to do it. It’s gonna fall on him and all of y’all, the whole city, when you do that ethic violation. That’s what the rules and guidelines are for to go by.
Another Maintenance Crew member also spoke out: I just want to come in, do my job, go home and pay my bills. But I want o do it safely. That’s all I got to say.
Boddie: I’ve got a question, are we going to be okay if just one goes home? Are we having any problems with any other one to know where we’re standing? Because if we are having more problems with any others, then this meeting is no good.
Wolfe: I agree and that’s why we’ve got to find somebody to put in this spot who can figure that out. Here’s the saddest part of this entire thing, Jeremy, there are people who cannot step down and go to work in that same department and not have any issues. You’re a big guy and you’ve got a heart bigger than you are, so I know without a shadow of a doubt that you could do this. I know that more than I know anything. But the fact of the matter is, we are here because of some other things we have done in the past and I hate it. That’s where I’m at.
After hearing from members of the maintenance crew, there was lengthy discussion about allowing Nash to step down as a member of the maintenance crew, which again, creates another position. The Mayor agreed they had really added a lot to the maintenance guys and speculated that they could use another hand. Thompson stated ” You really need to look at your budget first.”
There was also additional discussion about how pay raises had been handled now and in the past and some of the employees felt this wasn’t right. Nash stated he felt some of this had to do with, what he referred to, as “his failures”.
Wolfe made the motion to accept the resignation of Jeremy Nash, based on his letter, and allow him to step down to maintenance crew member, with these words is Nash’s favor: “I know Jeremy and he can work with anybody. I believe that and I know he will. He’s been here, he knows a lot of stuff and I don’t know anybody out within the city who doesn’t think the world of him. He’s a good employee. I personally think that with all that’s been added, we need an extra hand. But I also agree with Mrs. Thompson too because we are headed into that time of year (in regards to the budget).”
Wynn spoke up and stated that the city did budget in $20,000 for Code Enforcement Officer that would help cushion the budget but that she would have to go back and look at the numbers .
Thompson: Well, If we are going to look for a new supervisor, then we need to change our job description to add safety, animal control, and allow him to be a supervisor and not so much a worker, because we are overloaded.. I’m sorry, I know we’ve got a lot to do, but we are overloaded.”
The motion made by Wolfe was followed with a second by Smith. Nash will stay on with the maintenance dept. as a crew member and go back to the original pay as crew member with one step raised he received in December.
Assistant Supervisor Jody Brown will serve as Maintenance Supervisor until a replacement can be found.
In other business, Resolution 06-23-01-2016 was adopted naming contracts awarded that read as follows:
Whereas, the City of Ashland has received a Community Development Block Grant to implement a CDBG Economic Development Project for Infastructure relocation and improvements.
Whereas, in accordance with CDBG regulations, the city of Ashland has solicited and received bids from qualified construction companies to construct the above referenced project in accordance with the approved plans and specifications;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the city of Ashland and the city’s project engineer, Nelson and Company, has evaluated the bids received and has determined that Strain Construction Co., Inc. is the low bidder in the amount of $588,803.26 for the water and sewer line relocation; Apel Machine & Supply Company, Inc., is the low bidder in the amount of $341,759.35 for the gas line relocation; and to reject all bids and rebid the tank improvements portion of the project due to bids exceeding the construction budget for this portion of the project.
Be it further resolved, the Larry J. Fetner, Mayor, be and is hereby authorized to award and enter into a contract with Strain Construction Co., Inc and Apel Machine and Supply Company, Inc. in the amounts listed above to construct all improvements pending the Environmental Clearance from ADECA.
The Ashland Council met Monday, June 20, 2016 for their regular scheduled meeting. All council members were present. With the absence of Mayor Larry Fetner, Council member Bobbie Steed served as Mayor Pro Tem.
Council member Wolfe made the inquiry if there was any way to know how much revenue had been brought in since the city had gone wet. City Administrator Chelsey Wynn stated they had opened up a separate accounts so they could keep up with this information. Wynn reported over $1,000.00 in excised tax for the distributors who were able to sell in May. This was from just 3 businesses that month, one that was only able to sell for 2 weeks out of this month. Another account reports over $2800.00 from alcohol licenses and fees.
Notice of election for city officials was set for August 23, 2016. This election will be for Mayor and all five council members. Ashland citizens will place their vote at the Wynn Building on this date from 7:00 am-7:00 pm. A runoff election will take place on October 4, 2016 if needed.
Ashland citizen, Sheila Brown was present to address the council about the city maintenance department accidentally spraying roundup on her yard, killing her grass and threatening a symbolic flower bed in her mother’s memory that she planted over 23 years ago. This flower bed was established with just one bulb dug up out of her mother’s flower garden at her passing and transplanted to her yard. Each year, as the flowers grew, she would transplant until eventually the beds were filled.
Brown’s son, LeeRoy Brown was also present as his yard suffered damage too, along with the rest of 4th street East. Brown said the maintenance guys had been very accommodating about this matter and had been spraying fertilizer on the damaged area, but that this would not bring the grass back. Maintenance employee Jody Brown made the suggestion to plant grass seeds, rake the dead area back to neutralize the poison and keep it from eroding in Mrs. Brown’s yard and to do whatever they could to get the grass growing again in this damaged area. On behalf of the maintenance department, he apologized to both Sheila and Lee Roy for this accident.
Council member Gail Thompson reported that Chelsey and Robin would be moving into the New City Hall ( former PNC Bank) hopefully in the last week of June, as carpet will be laid in their two offices first. Thompson asked that everyone be patient with the transition of this move.
The following agenda items were approved:
Approval to change council meeting date from July 4, 2016 to July 5, due to holiday.
Approval to pay $325.00 for advertising signs to Volunteer Athletic Club for baseball, softball, and football fields.
Approval to purchase play equipment for the park from GameTime at a total cost of $7503.61
Approval of alcohol license to Jordan’s Convenience Store.
Approval for the police department to purchase 7 automatic defibrillators and 6 trauma kits at a total cost of $10,469 ( $9,700.00 from grant funds and $769.00 from city funds)
Approval to accept resignation from part-time dispatcher Holly Smith effective June 24, 2016
Approval to open the position of part-time dispatcher position and advertise job opening for 2 weeks
Approval to accept city canopy and support column rules and regulations
Approval to purchase phone system at New City Hall from Southern Data at $5,326.00. Council member Brad Wolfe was opposed.
Approval of “Request for Access to Public Records” form.
Approval of content for City Flag
Approval for the maintenance department to repair damage of accidental grass poisoning to resident’s yards on 4th street East.
The following items were tabled:
to pay $2000.00 to S.S. Nesbitt for right of way permit bond policy
Limb pick-up rules and regulations
The following item died due to lack of motion:
to accept the resignation at Maintenance Supervisor Jeremy Nash