City Council Minutes
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City Council Minutes

FEBRUARY 13, 2018

JOHNSON CITY COUNCIL
MEETING MINUTES
CITY HALL
FEBRUARY 13, 2018

Mayor Chris Keeney called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.

Present were Council Members Richard McMullen, Katherine Hudson, Bill Burnett and Bob Fant. Also present were Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen, City Attorney Danny Wright, Police Chief Vernon Sisemore, Fire Chief Matt Mills, and Building Official Clay Wilson. Public Works Director Jerry Morrow was absent.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the January 9, 2018 council meeting. Bob Fant made a motion to approve the minutes as written and was seconded by Richard McMullen. All approved.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to appoint John Wright to the open Ward 3, Position 2 seat on the Council which was vacated by Hunter Haynes in January. Bob Fant made a motion to approve Wright’s nomination and was seconded by Katherine Hudson. All approved. Wright came forward and was sworn in by Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen before taking his seat on the Council.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve Katherine Hudson’s resignation from the Ward 1, Position 2 Council seat effective February 12, 2018. There was an error in the Ward Hudson ran in the 2016 election which was not discovered until after the January Council meeting. Motion to accept her resignation was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Richard McMullen. All approved.

Mayor Keeney recessed the Council Meeting to go into Executive Session to discuss the two candidates for the open Ward 2, Position 2 Council seat at 6:05 PM.

Mayor Keeney reconvened the regular Council meeting at 6:27 PM

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to appoint Katherine Hudson to the open Ward 2, Position 2 seat on the Council which was vacated by Melissa Posinski in January. Richard McMullen made a motion to approve Hudson’s nomination and was seconded by Bill Burnett. All approved. Hudson came forward and was sworn in by Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen before taking her seat on the Council.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to appoint Dan Cross to the open Ward 1, Position 2 seat on the Council which was vacated by Katherine Hudson. Bob Fant made a motion to approve Cross’ nomination and was seconded by Richard McMullen. All approved. Cross came forward and was sworn in by Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen before taking his seat on the Council.

Recorder/Treasurer informed Mayor Keeney all positions on the Council were now filled and the meeting was ready to continue.

Department Head Reports:

Police Chief Vernon Sisemore stated that 35 new cases were opened and 29 were closed, one of the busiest months in the last 10 years. Chief Sisemore stated the officers received 36 hours of training.

Fire Chief Matt Mills stated there were 31 calls in January. Chief Mills stated the department was recruiting volunteers. Chief Mills stated Engine 1 has been returned from Springfield after $46,000 in repairs which were covered by insurance. Chief Mills stated 1 of at least 2 expected checks has been received from FEMA and the department is looking at buying a new inflatable boat to replace the one that was destroyed in last spring’s flooding. Chief Mills stated Attorney Jeff Watson is working on the dissolution of the 501(c)(3) of the Fire Board.

Public Works Director Jerry Morrow is out with the flu, but Mayor Keeney stated the guys have been busy and the City is well maintained.

Building Official/Maintenance Specialist Clay Wilson stated there was 1 building permit and 13 mechanical permits issued. Wilson stated 2 more of the flooded duplexes have been finalized and he attended/held TPR and PC meetings along with numerous other meetings with the City Engineer.

Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen apologized for not having the financials and the minutes in the packet as she has been ill and will get caught back up once she is released to come back to work.

City Attorney Danny Wright stated that one court appeal was resolved, but another one is coming. Wright stated he has spent significant time on the Council Member issues since the last meeting; worked on the Wilkerson-Main Overlay District; worked on Ordinance 2018-04 (read one time at the last meeting) which because of changes will be sent back to the Planning Commission for review; working with Clay and James Guertz on the Conditional Use Permit issues. Extensive discussion was had regarding the merits of becoming a City of the First Class as opposed to staying a City of the Second Class. Mayor Keeney stated he would gather information to facilitate an informed conversation at a future meeting.

Mayor Keeney stated the City has been awarded a $250,000.00 State Aid for Streets Grant for work on Carley Road and Ball Street.

Mayor Keeney stated FEMA did a site visit and they are going to do what needs to be done for the City; money should be released soon for the hard property damage and man power.

Mayor Keeney stated there will be a meeting soon regarding a new building project that will bring a new business to town.

Unfinished Business:

Mayor Keeney stated that because of changes made to ORDINANCE 2018-04: AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND TITLE 9 STREETS AND SIDEWALKS, CHAPTER 9.04, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, SECTION 9.04.02 DESIGN OF THE JOHNSON MUNICIPAL CODE TO ADD A PAY-IN-LIEU OF OPTION TO IMPROVEMENTS OF SUBSTANDARD ROADS; DECLARING AN EMERGENCY TO EXIST AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, City Attorney Danny Wright recommends that it go back to the Planning Commission for review so no action will be taken by the Council this evening.

New Business:

Mayor Keeney presented RESOLUTION 2018-03: A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND IN ARKANSAS AND TO ENGAGE IN LITIGATION AS A MEMBER FO THE MUNICIPAL LEGAL DEFENSE PROGRAM (MLDP) AGAINST THOSE ENTITIES AND PEOPLE RESPONSBLE FOR THIS SOCIETAL CRISIS. City Attorney Danny Wright and Mayor Keeney both stated the ARML was pushing for participation to provide a united front. Extensive discussion was held. The Resolution was read by Mayor Keeney. Dan Cross made a motion to approve the Resolution in support of the ARML and was seconded by Katherine Hudson. Council Members Cross, Hudson, Fant and Burnett approved, John Wright opposed, and McMullen abstained. RESOLUTION 2018-03 was approved.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to pay the bills from the General Fund, Street Fund, Act 988 Fund and Court Automation Fund that the council had reviewed. Bob Fant made a motion to pay the bills and Dan Cross seconded. All approved.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to adjourn which was made by Bill Burnett and seconded by Bob Fant. All approved. The meeting was adjourned at 7:12 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,