November 8, 2001

Council Approves Filing Period For 2002 Municipal Election Candidates

The Memphis City Council laid the groundwork in place for the April 2, 2002 municipal election that will fill four positions in the city government.

Bill number 10-01 was presented for the first and second readings at the council meeting November 1 at City Hall.

The bill designated April 2 as election day with polling places set in the courthouse janitor room for the first ward and the county assessor's office for the second ward. The polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Four positions will be filled in the election. Mike Stone's seat on the council as first ward alderman will be up for election as will Alderman Cindy Garrett's position in the second ward. Both positions will be two-year terms.

Voters will also fill the office of mayor for a two-year term. The position of city marshal will be filled by voters. That office is elected for a four-year term.

The bill established the filing dates for the offices. Any qualified candidate may officially file for the election beginning at 8:00 a.m. December 18. Filing closing date is January 15 at 4:00 p.m.

Executive Session

Memphis Police Officer Steve Snodgrass informed the council that he will be leaving the service of the MPD effective December 12. He indicated he was offering the six-week notification period to allow the department to have sufficient time to train his replacement.

Chief Terry Simerl requested and received approval to offer part-time weekend employment to Trudy Drummond, a former MPD officer. The move would not require any training as Drummond is a certified law enforcement officer. The council approved hiring Drummond for 16-hours per weekend when needed.

Department Reports

Light Crew - Superintendent David Kittle reported his crew was busy during October cutting trees and brush. He noted the crew would begin putting up the city Christmas Decorations this week.

Kittle told the council the meter reader was having difficulty reading some city meters due to obstructions such as dog pens. He noted requests to have the obstructions moved have failed to this point. The council suggested Kittle speak with the property owners again and inform them of the city ordinance that mandates meter access.

Street Crew - Superintendent Roy Monroe reported the completion of new cross walks at the Scotland County R-I Schools and noted that motorists should be aware of them.

Monroe reported the new section of storm drain had been completed and would be seeded in the spring.

He informed the council of his inspection of the airport hangars. Monroe stated the buildings could be painted or left alone for the time being as he felt it would be several years before the existing maintenance mandated repairs. Alderman Garrett suggested contacting John Squires regarding painting the hangars.

Police Department - Simerl told the council Halloween had been a quiet night in Memphis as far as the PD.

He gave the October report for the police department: one peace disturbance; one vandalism; 16 traffic stops; 2 burglaries; 5 motor vehicle accidents; 231 calls to dispatch; 22 community security checks; 1 stealing; 79 misc. calls; and three ambulance assists.

Officer Steeples informed the council he is reviewing the city's ordinances governing abandoned vehicles. He noted that by his interpretation of the law, an abandoned vehicle would have to be proven to be a public safety hazard to force removal.

Alderman Reports

Alderman Stone reported a sign in the yard of a residence along Highway 136 that he felt was inappropriate. Officer Steeples stated he would speak with the property owner about removing the sign.

Stone also reported attending the dedication ceremony of the Jim Sears Technical Center in Edina.

Alderman Garrett informed the council of complaints she had received regarding cars being parked along Lindell Street near the school. Marshal Simerl suggested no parking signs be installed and noted he would review the situation further.

Alderman Patty Simerl stated Sheila Owings had discussed a drainage problem with her, noting that the city's new drainage ditch runs near their property and causes her property to flood during heavy rains, preventing access to her home.

Monroe stated he and engineer Ron Shy would review the site.

Alderman Ron Gardner questioned if Monroe had an opportunity to review the Marlowe property. Monroe indicated he had looked at the site and it needed rip rap but noted he did not feel it was the city's responsibility to provide the materials. Gardner stated he would inform Marlowe.

Mayor's Report

Mayor Ron Alexander reported attending a special operations symposium.

The mayor also asked the council for their thoughts on options for collecting unpaid utility bills left by individuals that have moved from the community. The city charges a deposit, but that deposit does not always cover the unpaid bill.

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