Gray interim City Manager

by Benita Fuzzell

Joyce Gray, who was hired as the City of South Fulton’s Bookkeeper in March of this year, was appointed Interim City Manager by the City Commission Aug. 19, following discussion by Mayor David Lamb and Commissioners Cody Caksackkar, Tommy Pruett, Beatrice Wilcox and Billy Williams.

Commissioner Caksackkar, who made the motion to appoint Gray, voted in favor of the motion, as did Commissioners Wilcox and Williams, with Mayor Lamb and Commissioner Pruett voting against the motion.

Caksackkar cited Gray’s credentials and experience as reasons to transition her into the post, including her certification as a CMFO, Certified Municipal Finance Officer, a recommendation from Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire, experience with the Utility Disrict and prior years serving as City Clerk for the City of Hornbeak, Tenn.

“I think we need to take some time and just take a look at things...we jumped right in last time and the person we selected for the job, that didn’t work,” Commissioner Pruett said.

Commissioner Wilcox thanked Joyce Gray, as well as Miles Mayo, for submitting resumes for review to the commission, regarding the interim city manager’s position, and said that in her opinion, Gray was qualified to serve as interim, with her skills and experience. During the meeting, Mayo addressed the commission, to thank them for the opportunity to submit his resume, however he had reconsidered and asked that his resume be withdrawn from consideration.

Mayor Lamb then asked the officials their preference as to whether to advertise locally for the permanent city manager’s position, or to reach out on a broader scale for potential applicants.

Kenny Mayo, who was present in the audience for the meeting, asked that the commission consider someone to fill the post who had the best interest of the city as a priority, and it had appeared in the past those who were not local residents were not as concerned with issues that impacted the city.

Mayor Lamb then directed City Recorder Jackie Potter to move forward in advertising locally, as well as through state and other agencies such as MTAS.

Former Commissioner Billy Williams was unanimously voted to serve as Vice Mayor, for his return to the commission, having accepted the appointment to fulfill the remainder of the term of the late Terry Taylor.

Under New Business, Gray conducted the first reading of Ordinance 2021-03, Annual Budget.

In the FY 2021-22 budget, for the General Fund, cash receipts projected were listed at $1,346,905; projected appropriations, $1,345,561; and ending fund balance projected at $1,261,763.

For the Supplemental Fire Fund, total projected cash receipts were listed at $46,800; projected appropriations, $34,450; projected beginning fund balance, $41,639 and projected ending fund balance, $53,989.

In the Drug Control Fund, proposed cash receipts for FY 2022 were listed at $4,500; proposed appropriations, $4,650 and ending balance proposed, $2,826.

In the Ambulance Fund, proposed total cash receipts listed at $301,000; total appropriations proposed at $300,000 and ending fund balance at $104,014.

Street Aid Fund, cash receipts proposed were listed at $86,297; proposed appropriations, $38,000; and ending fund balance, $360,357.

Solid Waste Fund cash receipts proposed for FY 2022 were listed at $193,500; total appropriations proposed at $160,000; and ending fund balance, $364,741.

In the Water and Sewer Fund, total operating and non operating revenues, proposed, listed at $2,092,657; total operating and non operating expenses were listed, proposed, at $1,368,306; and ending net position, $7,174,195.

Gas Fund, proposed FY 2022 total revenues were listed at $1,128,000; total expenses,$835,719, and ending net position, $2,925,993.

The proposed Budget Ordinance will require a second reading for passage, and is available upon request for review at South Fulton City Hall.

Another ordinance, no. 2021-02, Authorizing the City of South Fulton, Tennessee to Adopt Sewer Rates and Fees by Resolution, was to provide for the adoption of sewer rates and fees by resolution, as is currently in force regarding water rates and fees, as well as natural gas rates and fees. By its adoption, the sewer rates and fees would be established through the same procedure, by Resolution rather than Ordinance.

The first reading of the ordinance was approved with a second reading and passage required.

Two Resolutions, #2021-06 regarding Utility Billing Policies and Procedures, and Resolution 2021-07, regarding Authorizing Increases in Water, Sewer and Natural Gas Tap Fees, were tabled. Resolution 2021-06 was tabled to allow City Attorney Kirk Moore the opportunity to review the resolution, and Resolution 2021-07 could not be considered for passage until which time the Ordinance 2021-02 is passed.

Gray said the city’s current billing policies and procedures had not been updated in some time, and the updating was necessary as the city attempted to get financially stable in the water and sewer departments.

Mayor Lamb stated he did want to attempt to explore options to insure the city’s residents were notified ahead of time regarding any changes in billing.

Gray suggested listing proposed ordinances, in a condensed version in the newspaper reports, and then offering citizens the opportunity to come to city hall and review the ordinances, prior to the required second reading and passage.

Commissioner Caksackkar reported he and Mayor Lamb had recently attended a Weakley County Municipal Electric System board meeting. He said he had inquired as to whether WCMES would have any objection to Gibson Electric Membership Corporation providing internet service to South Fulton residents.

He said that currently, there are seven local businesses which utilize Gibson Electric, and he would like to see it available to all residents, however at this time, that option is not possible. However, Caksackkar said Weakley County Electric had no issue with that service being provided by Gibson Electric. Caksackkar reported at the present time, a system may not operate outside its footprint.

Discussion took place regarding the city’s Code Enforcement policies, as well as how to enforce the policies and codes already in place.

Caksackkar, who also serves on the city’s Planning and Zoning Board, said the board has made numerous attempts to cite violations to city code, however often times, the property changes ownership without having been brought up to code by the previous owner, and the process starts all over. He also asked City Attorney Kirk Moore if he had received a draft of bylaws proposed by the board, for his review and Moore said he thought he had received the draft.

In other business, the Commissioners and Mayor voted to contribute to this year’s Banana Festival, as a $1,000 corporate sponsor. Fulton Tourism Executive Director, was present for the meeting, and thanked the officials for their corporate sponsorship, but the deadline had passed for inclusion in the Banana Festival Souvenir Booklet.

The Commission authorized the procedure to conduct the application process for a Safety Partners grant, for the purpose of purchasing bullet proof vests for the South Fulton Police Department, with a 50%-50% match required should the grant be awarded.