NEWS HEADLINES

Rhome City Council looks to take over parks board, limit firefighters

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, January 22, 2014

{{{*}}}After struggling to find enough members, the Rhome City Council will likely take over the duties of the Parks and Recreation Board – at least temporarily.

“Everyone (on the city council) appears to be in agreement it will go to the council,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jo Ann Wilson. “Different council members will coordinate different events, and we’ll have help from volunteers. We’ll just have to see how it works.”

The council discussed the issue in detail at a workshop held last Saturday night at city hall. Although no action could be taken during the workshop, the council expects to take action at the next council meeting.

The workshop also covered how to proceed to complete construction of a pavilion at the Rhome Family Park. So far, just the concrete foundation has been completed. Councilman Louis Godfrey was appointed to find out the best way to proceed and bring a recommendation back to the council.

The council also discussed the fate of several ordinances regarding the fire department, including one related to membership on the department and serving in city government.

“By law the fire chief can’t be the mayor,” Wilson said. “But an ordinance that the council might approve at the next meeting might limit no more than two members of the fire department can serve on the city council and mayor position.”

Currently, the mayor and one council member serve on the volunteer fire department.

“The reasoning for limiting it to two people is not a personality issue,” Wilson said. “But if a fire emergency is called out during a meeting, we need to keep enough there to have quorum.”

The proposed ordinance would also prevent council who are members of the fire department from voting on funding issues related to the department.

When asked what the council would do if a third member of the fire department was elected to the council or mayor position, Wilson said if that happened, they’d just have “to look at options at that time.”

“We’re not trying to limit volunteering,” Wilson said.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

One Response to “Rhome City Council looks to take over parks board, limit firefighters”

  1. There’s a person with their priorities out of whack and the voters should take notice. I get the voting issue and sort of agree, there could be a conflict of interest there. I’m sure that Mayor Moore and the other council member agrees with that as well. But, if there were a fire in the town, wouldn’t that take precedence over a point in a meeting that could wait until later so that the safety and well being of the citizens be tended to first. Knowing the mayor and the council member in question, I know that is where their motivation lies. In the old days, entire towns would come together and make sure the family was completely taken care of if there was a fire. I guess we’ve let that benevolent part of our society fall to the way-side like the tares and the wheat parable. We have fallen on rocky soil. Some of us have anyway.

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