City Council Minutes 4/18/2023 with Updates in Red

City of Margaret

April 18, 2023

6:00 P.M.

In attendance:         Councilman James Chapman, Councilman Darius Crump, Councilman Matthew Tortorice, Mayor Pro-Tern Daryl McIntyre, and Mayor Isaac Howard

Absent: Councilman Jonathan Ray

Prayer: Clyde Beverly

Pledge of Alliance

The meeting was called to order


Mayor Howard asked about approving the amended minutes that had been sent via email. Councilman Tortorice stated that he handed out a paper copy and had not emailed the amendments yet. Councilman Matthew Tortorice tabled the approval of Council Meeting minutes from 3-7-2023 until the amendments could emailed out and be reviewed.

Councilman Matthew Tortorice made the Motion to allow $5000.00 for the RPCGB to redistrict lines for the City of Margaret. Mayor Pro-Tem McIntyre made a motion to table it. Councilman Tortorice reminded McIntyre that there was a motion on the table. The Motion died from lack of second.

Mayor Howard said he would email out an additional quote from ASU Center for Leadership and Public Policy for $4,000 with a $500 deposit.

Councilman Matthew Tortorice stated that eh RPCGB had obligations until the second meeting in May so tabled RPCGB drawing up a five-year plan/or the City of Margaret to promote growth until 5-16-2023.

Councilman Matthew Tortorice stated that SEI (EIB correction) were in the middle of tax season and they would attend the next council meeting, and that if we provided them with the bank statements, check register and the credit card statements that they can determine areas where the council may need to look into. Mayor Howard said that it would be tabled until the next meeting. No second or vote occurred.

Pleasant Valley Properties presented a plat change request. Councilman Chapman asked if we were able to come to an agreement and Mr. Barker clarified that we were about $75,000 short of what Mr. Pendley had been offered for the lots.

Mayor Pro-Tem Daryl McIntyre made the motion to table Pleasant Valley Phase 6 Plat which would replace 2- 100ft. lots with 3- 50 ft. lots. Councilman James Chapman seconded the Motion. The Motion passed by majority. Councilman Tortorice and Mr. Barker asked if Mr. Pendley would like to speak about the matter. Mr. Pendley said that if the city would like the property, then he would like for the city to have it, stating he had been offered $47,000 a lot for the 5 lots, which is $235,000 then offered to sell the lots to the City of Margaret for $225,000.00 and would include the property on the hill. Councilman Chapman asked about just the lots across the street stating that we didn’t need all of it. Councilman Tortorice reminded the council that we discussed needing the fill dirt from the lots on the hill. Charles Pendley stated his fear of losing the deal if the city doesn’t decide.

Mayor Isaac Howard tabled the amending of the water/sewer applications.

Mayor Howard asked about approving the Council Minutes from 4-4-2023. Councilman Matthew Tortorice made the Motion to table minutes until the addendum could be reviewed. The Motion died from a lack of second.

Councilman Crump said someone else should review the video, so the addendum doesn’t favor Councilman Tortorice.

Mayor Pro-Tem Daryl McIntyre made a Motion to approve the minutes for Council Meeting 4-4-2023 as written by the city clerk. Mayor Howard called the Motion dead for a lack of second.

Brandie Johnson proposed watching the video updating the minutes and submitting a review to the council.

Councilman Crump made a Motion that on the minutes of 4/4/2023 we select as a council someone to watch the video and write up the minutes.

Teja said we can’t write the minutes verbatim. That the minutes are written on actions.

Mayor Pro-Tem McIntyre made the motion to approve the minutes for Council Meeting 4-4-2023 as written by the city clerk. Councilman Chapman seconded it. Councilman Tortorice noted that you cannot make the same motion twice in the same meeting. (15:38)

The changes and costs to Brookhaven development partners was discussed thoroughly. Councilman James Chapman made a Motion to accept the proposal by Brookhaven Development Partners which asks for a 25% reduction of the total amount of tap fees for Ridgefield. The $30,750 amount can be spread over the next two takedowns – 49 lots, 17 taps purchased on April 1st, and 32 taps purchased around September 1st unless the builder moves closing up. Councilman Darius Crump seconded the Motion. The Motion passed unanimously.

The council will discuss the Municipal Pollution Prevention Report at the next meeting.

Mayor Howard asked Mr. Barker to present road quotes, because the city will be bringing several road repairs to every council meeting for a while.

Mr. Barker stated that we have annual bridge inspections and the bridge at Church Street requires new runners of white oak. He needs six pieces for $326.46. It must be repaired.

Mr. Barker presented the Council with road quotes from Massey Asphalt Paving LLC:

The city damaged the roads years ago doing water work repairs.

Ida Street- option 1 material = 12 Tons @ $70 per Ton = $840 and labor=$4500

Total $5340.00 approx.

Ida Street- option 2 – Full Paving – material = 4,270  and labor= 6,500 Total $10,770.00 includes widening the road

Levine Rd where Scenic Crest joins Levine.

option 1 – material = 66 Tons $4,620 and labor= $8,500 Totaling $13,120.00 to widen the road to 18’  Approx. 300’ long from Scenic Crest towards Davis St

Levine Rd – option 2 material = 235 Tons $16,450 and labor= $12,000 Totaling $28,450.00 to widen the road 18′ from Scenic Crest to the intersection at Davis St

Woodland Cir- 5 really bad spots

option 1 material = 350 Tons $24,500 and labor= $22,500 Totaling $47,000.00 remove faulted Asphalt and base at various areas of Woodland Cir and replace with 4” of ALDOT-approved asphalt mix. Approx. 1590 sq. yards.

Woodland Cir – option 2 material and labor= $122,480.00 to repave the whole street.

Councilman Tortorice brought up the bidding laws. Charles Pendley brought up Sun Dogs as another possible company to quote. Mr. Barker said that MAP is 5 weeks behind and these were fill in jobs.

Councilman Chapman made a motion to do option 2 on Ida. Councilman Tortorice mentioned that we would have to suspend the rules due to decisions about money in the same meeting they were brought up.

Department Heads:

Interim Chief Fields gave the Council an update on police vests and the property room. He is getting sizes for ordering size specific vests. He stated that he is working on the property room where it was alleged that there was money missing, and drugs missing. He worked with the County to do an audit and is doing the inventory in Waves and is determining what is in there now. He said “a lot of the things in there now are mismatched and were done illegal”. He stated that when he first took over the state contacted him about missing money and guns and we all know where that came from and we’re not going to discuss that. Fields said that after getting with the County there is money that was taken illegally from people and it should have been with the persons property in the jail. Fields wants to change the policy where money seized would not go into the property room, but rather into a bank account and the deposit receipt will go into the property room, and when someone claims the money they will get a cashiers check for their money.

The specs on the vests are $883 per officer. He got 3 quotes and went to other municipalities to ask if they were pleased with the vests. He is wanting to add another lock to turn a closet into part of the property room. Farris Lock and Key would change the lock for $350. He will submit the quote to the Mayor to give to the council.

Fields has been getting calls about speeding and they are operating the police department with one officer per shift and he is coming to the council again police pay.

Fields mentioned people passing school buses but they don’t have enough officers to handle it.

Interim Chief Fields would like to create a Crime Committee which would include 2 residents from each district. Fields wants to partner with the community to make sure the police department is handling situations.

Fields has been talking daily to the Mayor about safety of the officers.

Councilman Tortorice asked for clarification that Interim Chief Fields found wrongdoing and that he sought the advice of other cities. He said the Mayor has been very encouraging for the Police to work with other municipalities officers.

Councilman Tortorice asked if Interim Chief Fields had met with Daryl yet as the Police Department Liaison. Fields said he talks to him all the time. Councilman Tortorice asked if they were working on a plan to hire more officers yet. Fields said they are still waiting for the Mayor to get his feet wet because it’s hard to hire people when you don’t know how you are going to pay them.

Mayor Howard asked Mr. Barker was asked if he had anything else.

Chief Parrish has nothing.

Mayor Isaac Howard asked/or any more comments:

Councilman James Chapman – no

Councilman Darius Crump – no Councilman

Matthew Tortorice:

Councilman Tortorice made a motion that we purchase Office 365 Business Standard for $12.50 a month per employee that has an email address to utilize our domain and have more professional email accounts.

Teja McIntyre said that Dona who manages our website would be willing to setup our email.

Mayor Howard said to wait until the next council meeting without allowing for a call for a second.

Councilman Tortorice discussed Council Decorum and that that Council take control of the meetings. Stating that we have kicked people out for little to no offense and let people remain for worse offenses. Councilman Tortorice said that we need to set standards and follow Roberts Rules. Councilman Tortorice said that we should at a minimum have a sign in sheet and time limits and every resident who speaks should be noted in the minutes as each resident’s voice could lead to an action needing to be taken.

Councilman Tortorice said at the last council meeting one council member threatened to beat up another council member and said that is never acceptable.

Interim Chief Fields asked for clarification if Roberts Rules stated that if someone is asked to leave, if the whole council has to vote on it. Councilman Tortorice informed him that it was the mayor’s decision, and that Councilmen may suggest it but the Mayor has the final call.

Justice Carter publicly apologized for coming after Councilman Ray using egregious language, but when someone comes after his livelihood which he said Councilman Ray did. Stating that what he has coming to him is coming and that is not a threat, but he was just wanting to let everyone know if we see him going after Councilman Ray it’s not for nothing. Justice stated that Councilman Ray called his place of employment and threatened his livelihood. Stating that Councilman Ray called him something. He does not mean to offend anybody, but if anybody threatens his livelihood he takes that very personally and that when Councilman Ray comes back he will hear from him.

Charles Pendley addressed a council member stating that he had a lot of anger and he needed to let it go and work with the other council members or he needs to step down.

Freddie Parham addressed the Council stating that if council meetings are put on FaceBook that he is just going to stay home and watch it. If they want to be involved they should come to the meetings and see what is going on. Councilman Tortorice asked what the harm is of it being in both places?   

A gentleman asked about a Variance that he submitted the day before and Mayor Howard    told him that it would be put on the next agenda. 

Brandie addressed Council about stop signs in Ridgefield Dr. at the 4-way at the entrance.

Brandie inquired about the land across the street from the city hall. Mayor Howard replied that the city would like to build a senior citizen center.

A concerned citizen feels that Clover Ave. has been ruined by construction traffic. She stated that it was incorporated into Mr. Barker’s quotes.

Janice McIntyre addressed the Council about making use of Facebook as a positive media platform.

Janice McIntyre stated that when we put people out for being unruly behavior to consider doing that for council members as well. Stating that the council members are the reason the citizens become unruly.

Brett Gray, 490 Summit Park Road, supports Interim Chief Fields.

Brett Gray would like to see the Ad Valorem Tax increase implemented for police and fire departments. He asked to have Ad Valorem Taxes be put on the next council agenda.

Brett Gray asked what happened with the Office Furniture. Mayor Howard explained that the furniture was moved to the public works building. He expressed his concern that we only got one price and how much it was.

Brett Gray asked who is responsible for the Wastewater treatment report. Mayor Howard said that Bob Terrell is the certified operator of the plant and that the lines fall up under himself.                        

Brett Gray asked about Robert’s Rules of Order and meeting minutes being changed. He addressed the Council about the Council being in disarray. He continued to ask what the problem with amending the minutes is based on the video. He stated that the notes he took would not be on the agenda at the next meeting. Councilman Tortorice agreed with him stating that’s where the problem comes in, that items disappear of the agenda and get swept under the rug.

Clyde Beverly stated that so many innuendos have been presented that he needs to ask some questions for clarity and asked if he can ask the clerk some questions. He asked Teja McIntyre if the yearly audit had been completed. She stated that it had. Mr. Beverly asked if the summary page has gotten back to use. Teja McIntyre said it has not gotten back to us yet, but it was coming. Mr. Beverly said there are many reports that can do GAP analysis of audit results. And that the term forensic audit is too broad and he doesn’t understand how we can ask for a forensic audit before getting the summary page back.

Mr. Beverly said that God is not making any more land and advised the city to work with the land owner to get as much land as the city can.

Mr. Beverly stated that the city clerk is the stenographer and that nobody should be changing the minutes.

Mr. Beverly stated that the motion that Mayor Pro-Tem McIntyre’s motion did not die because someone was about to ask a question and because there was about to be tension the council went past the motion and “suggested that the council consider this term that the council agree to the minutes as recorded by the clerk with necessary changes” stating that would alleviate the issue. 

Clyde Beverly also suggested mediation for Councilman Jonathan Ray and Justice Carter.

Clyde Beverly said it is impossible to achieve anything if the attention of the council is not on the welfare of the room.

Clyde Beverly addressed Councilman Tortorice saying that he was offended because Councilman Tortorice accused the council and this city of being corrupt. Mr. Beverly said he believed that Councilman Tortorice is not telling the truth and makes innuendos and he heard me go back a long way. He advised me to be careful, because when it comes out of your mouth, it’s like toothpaste, you cannot put it back. Continuing stated that “if he was working with me tonight as a councilman he would be offended because I accused us of being crooks and he can say it, because he is a man just like you.”

Councilman James Chapman made a Motion to adjourn. Mayor Pro-Tem Daryl McIntyre seconded the Motion.

The meeting adjourned at 7:13 PM.