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City Council Minutes

September 9, 2016



Mayor Chris Keeney called the meeting to order at 10:30 am.

Present were Aldermen Richard McMullen, Dan Cross, Hunter Haynes and Bob Fant. Also present was Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer AIlen, City Attorney Danny Wright and Attorneys Justin Eichmann and Tom Kieklak. Aldermen Bill Burnett and Melissa Posinski were not present.

Attorney Tom Kieklak presented a proposed settlement from the plaintiffs to the pending lawsuit, which fell apart late last night. The proposed settlement and the implications and ramifications of said settlement were discussed at length.

Johnson residents Steven Haile, Henry Layes, Judy Bond and Mike and Dana Scott all spoke against having billboards at all and urged the Council to repeal Ordinance 2016-16 by approving Ordinance 2016-19. Haile cited concerns for safety, light blinding motorists, light shining in resident's windows. and the adjacent dark skies policy in neighboring Fayetteville as valid reasons to ban the digital billboards.

Bob Fant stated he wanted to settle all this in the City's favor and there are too many loopholes now to take a settlement. Hunter Haynes agreed, but stated he hears what the residents are saying and continued discussion of a settlement is a point of negotiation. Dan Cross stated he was not in favor of a settlement at this time. Richard McMullen stated he was not interested in a settlement and wants to repeal the ordinance today.

Hunter Haynes made a motion to have the City's legal counsel be in contact with the plaintiff's counsel concerning the proposed settlement and was seconded by Bob Fant. This was discussed. Mayor Keeney called for a vote on the motion. Hunter Haynes and Bob Fant voted for the motion, Dan Cross and Richard McMullen voted against. The motion failed.

There was discussion regarding ORDINANCE NO. 2016-19: AN ORDINANCE TO REPEAL ORDINANCE NO. 2016-16 IN ITS ENTIRETY, DECLARING AN EMERGENCY AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Dan Cross made a motion to table ORDINANCE NO. 2016-19 and was seconded by Hunter Haynes. There was more discussion. Mayor Keeney asked for a vote to approve tabling the Ordinance. Cross, Haynes and Fant voted, ves. McMullen voted no. Mayor Keeney voted yes and with the 4th vote for, the motion to table was approved.

Dan Cross excused himself to attend a previously scheduled appointment. Discussion continued. The Council discussed the option to have the attorneys draft a moratorium for the City on approval and acceptance of sign applications for 60 days so all of the concerns brought up at this meeting could be properly addressed. All approved this action including Mayor Keeney.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to adjourn which was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Hunter Haynes. All approved. The meeting was adjourned at 12:04 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,