Police, clock, budget focus of monthly meeting
by RACHEL DAVIS
Aug 22, 2012 | 1153 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OAKMAN — Oakman’s August city council meeting once again focused on the time clock, budget woes and the police department.

The city’s timeclock is malfunctioning once again and the council questioned why a new one had not been purchased. The council voted to purchase a time clock several months ago, but the city clerk informed council members there wasn’t enough money in the city’s coffers to cover the cost. The mayor said the current clock had been donated at that time and had been working until recent weeks.

The council also discussed pay rates and hours for city employees before moving on to the police business.

Police Chief Andy Powell asked the council to approve his travel for a conference in south Alabama next month. Powell must earn 20 hours of executive training before the end of the year or the city could face fines. The council approved payment for his lodging, travel expenses and tuition for the conference.

Powell also asked the council to approve the hiring of two part-time officers to cover some shifts and to move current officer Chuck Lilley to full-time status.

“We don’t have the money to buy a time clock. How are we gonna pay them?”” council member Patt Blackwell asked.

“Then we don’t need to sit around and complain about not having police coverage,” Powell responded. “We can’t cover everything with one full-time person and one part-time person.”

Council member Dennis Welch said that the solutions to the city’s financial straights were limited.

“You either make cuts, expand your city limits, which increases your tax base, or you increase taxes,” Welch said. “We have no industry and no hope in having industry unless you get out and work it.”

After much heated discussion, Todd called for a motion or vote on the police hirings, but none was made and Todd adjourned the meeting after council member Steve Windham left the table.

“I’ve asked them three times, and they just want to sit up here and argue,” Todd said to Powell as she adjourned.

“This police department has changed drastically from what it was when I came in,” Powell said after the meeting. “I just want us to keep moving forward and making improvements.”

In other business:

•Blackwell made a motion to go into executive session, but was unable to give a reason and the motion died on the table.

•There will be a pre-construction sewer hearing on the community center on Aug. 29 at 10 a.m.