When Guyton residents speak up, city council listens.
Beginning in January, citizens will have two opportunities to attend council meetings, one in the evening and one in the morning. Council members have approved the first reading of an ordinance that designates the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month as dates of council meeting.
“They will meet at the usual time, 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday and at 8 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday,” city clerk Debra Scruggs said.
Before an ordinance is passed, council must approve two readings. Guyton cancelled their December meeting due to a conflict with the Tour of Homes, so the next scheduled meeting will be held on Jan. 13.
In other business, council asked Alexander to continue as interim city manager for the next six months. The city cites financial hardship as their reasons for holding off on hiring a full-time administrator.
Another move by city council, in response to a resident’s request, has been to implement an old-fashioned
style town hall meeting once a month with no agenda.
Mayor Michael Garvin had told council in September that he received a request for a town hall meeting where individuals could approach the group without having to be placed on the agenda. The initial meeting was held in October; however, the informal gathering was not advertised and nobody attended.
On Nov. 7, Alderman Les Pevey and Alderwoman Brenda Lovett met with a group of six citizens who voiced their concerns about such things as the number of vehicles who speed on Magnolia Avenue, the problems with drainage in certain locations in the city and lack of jobs.
Steve Penatello asked the two aldermen if they would get the police department to focus more on Magnolia Avenue since so many people were speeding up and down the street. Pevey told the group that he would address the issue with Chief Alexander.
It wasn’t that long ago that resident complained about all the stop signs on Magnolia, Pevey said. In response, the city took down the stop signs.
“Now it looks like we may have to put some back up,” Pevey said.
Chief Alexander later disclosed his intention to start having an officer at certain times of the day sitting along the road to spot the speeders and hopefully slow them down.
The town hall meetings are open to anyone who wishes to address concerns or comments to members of city council and/or city administration. In order to remain “agendaless” however, all of council will not be present.
If all of council attends, then other requirements come into play said Pevey. In other words, a quorum would be present and an agenda will be required; thereby, taking away from the concept of an old-fashioned, informal gathering where citizens can come and speak out.
The next tentatively scheduled town hall meeting is scheduled for Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. in city council chambers.