South Fulton Municipal Planning board explores Code Enforcement duties

by Benita Fuzzell

South Fulton’s Municipal Regional Planning Commission, meeting for their first Thursday of the month regular session Oct. 1, held discussions relating to the specific duties of the board as well as the review and possible revamping of the board’s bylaws.

Chairman Kenny Mayo, Mayor David Lamb, an ex-officio member of the board, and board members Johnny Bacon, City Manager, Billy Williams, Cody Caksackkar and Code Enforcement Officer Nicole Berner were present. Board member Thomas Pettigrew was not in attendance.

Items listed on the evening’s agenda, beginning at 5 p.m. included specific requirements relating to terms of office for the board members and officers within the board, as well as the election of new officers.

Bacon and Berner explained they had not been able to locate a signed copy of the board’s bylaws, however they did provide each board member present with a copy of the most recent bylaws located.

It was determined the board is to consist of five members, two of which shall be the city manager and a member of the City Commission, with the other three members to be appointed by the City Manager.

Officers within the board are designated, according to the most recently located bylaws, as a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary.

Kenny Mayo was re-elected Chairman, Billy Williams Vice-Chairman and Cody Caksackkar, Secretary, with Code Enforcement Officer Nicole Berner appointed as the designated person to take minutes for the meeting. Mayor Lamb volunteered to speak with Thomas Pettigrew to see if he was interested in remaining on the board.

Discussion then took place as to previous board meetings, during which the former City Recorder was present for each meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board, also responsible for minutes and the preparation of the meeting’s agenda and meeting packet.

No action was taken as to whether City Recorder Jackie Potter should be considered to attend the meetings at this time.

Berner said she had not been able to locate any recent documentation regarding Planning and Zoning Board actions or minutes, prior to her appointment to the position of Code Enforcement Officer.

Board Chair Mayo questioned whether Code Enforcement issues should be undertaken by the Planning and Zoning Board, as the two seemed to involve different responsibilities.

All board members present agreed that the board had taken on the task of addressing code enforcement issues, however research should be done to decide whether the current Planning and Zoning Board will revise bylaws to include clarity on their expanded responsibilities relating to code enforcement, or to explore the option of developing two separate boards.

City Manager Johnny Bacon said he would consult with City Attorney Kirk Moore as to Tennessee Code Annotated stipulations, as well as consult with MTAS regarding the matter.

Caksackkar suggested for future reference, the board return to designated meetings on the first Thursday of each month at 5 p.m., to allow the public to have access and notification regarding the meetings, as well as items to be included on each meeting’s agenda. He noted Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has lifted all restrictions on meetings and gatherings and he wanted to make sure the citizens of South Fulton were afforded the opportunity to attend and participate in public meetings.

The board agreed to hold regular meetings the first Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. in the conference room of South Fulton Municipal Complex.

Bacon provided the board with a document compiled by City Attorney Kirk Moore, an ordinance to establish an Administrative Hearing Officer for the city, to better enforce issues arising from property owners within the city falling into non-compliance with city code.

He asked the board to review the document, and stated he would provide the City Commissioners with a copy as well, to be discussed at a future commission meeting.

Board members present were asked to review the most recent bylaws provided to them, for the South Fulton Municipal Regional Planning Commission Board, and make suggestions, revisions or additions for a possible re-drafting of the board’s bylaws.