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Rhome City Council oaths delayed by threat of recount

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, May 12, 2018
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Rhome City Council members put off their oaths of office Thursday with a possible election recount looming.

City Secretary Shannon Montgomery said a petition had been filed for a recount following the May 5 election, and although the city could canvass the results, none of the elected officials could be sworn in. Montgomery said the petition was found to be insufficient, and the filers have until 10 a.m. Monday to correct it for a recount.

All five incumbents – Mayor Michelle Pittman di Credico and council members Kenny Crenshaw, Elaine Priest, Sam Eason and Leeanne Mackowski – were re-elected last week. The closest race was between Priest and Josh McCabe, who she defeated by 13 votes. di Credico won by the widest margin, garnering 51 votes more than challenger Jo Ann Wilson.

Because the council members could not be sworn in Thursday, they also voted to table three other election-related items: the selection of mayor pro tem, naming a bank signatory and assigning a non-signatory to review monthly bank reconciliations.

OLD SCHOOL UPDATE

di Credico informed the council the roof of the old school building was tested for structural security Wednesday and found to be sound.

The roof will still have to be replaced, and di Credico estimated would cost $100,000. Bond money originally slated for the building’s demolition can be re-appropriated to pay for the roof, according to city attorney Carvan Adkins.

“Let’s find out what it would cost to fix the roof,” Crenshaw said.

The council directed city staff to create a bid packet for the roof replacement.

EDC CREATION

The council also discussed creating an Economic Development Corporation to bring businesses into town.

Crenshaw was opposed, saying he didn’t think Rhome had enough of a tax base to support an EDC.

di Credico explained the EDC would be paid for using sales tax, not property tax.

“It’s not everybody who lives here, it’s everybody who drives through,” she said.

Priest asked if the city had considered creating a chamber of commerce first, and di Credico said they used to belong to the South Wise chamber but it hasn’t been active recently.

Crenshaw said he’d prefer to start a chamber of commerce before looking at an EDC.

“Baby steps are the way to go,” he said. “Government starts out with baby steps, and it grows into a monster.”

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