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Monthly Meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor & Aldermen

August 8th 2013

Gleason Board Approves ‘Stop Meth Now’ Ordinance

During the regular monthly meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Thursday, August 8, members approved an ordinance requiring a prescription to purchase products containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine.

The board also approved a resolution authorizing the Weakley County Clerk’s Office to collect the City of Gleason’s wheel tax.

Another topic of discussion was a request for Gleason firefighters to be paid when they are called out to establish a landing zone for a medevac helicopter.

Additionally, board members heard department reports and announcements.

‘Stop Meth Now’ Ordinance

An ordinance requiring a prescription for the purchase of products containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, known as the “Stop Meth Now” ordinance, passed on first reading with Mayor Diana Poole, and aldermen Jerry Connell, Mike Morris and Charles Bookout voting in favor of the ordinance. Alderwoman Kris Morse abstained because she is a pharmacist at City Drug Store in Gleason and wanted to avoid any conflict of interest concerning the issue.

Both of these ingredients, which are commonly used in cold and allergy medicines such as Sudafed, are necessary for the production of methamphetamine. By eliminating easy access to these drugs, the ordinance seeks to close meth labs and drive meth cooks out of the county, as has occurred in other areas that passed similar ordinances.

During discussion, it was mentioned the City of Dresden passed a similar ordinance on second and final reading; Martin will consider approving the ordinance on second reading Monday, August 12; Greenfield will have the first reading of the ordinance when it meets August 13; and Sharon board members, who decided there was no point to pass the ordinance during the board’s last meeting (because products containing these drugs are not sold in the city limits), have since decided to discuss the issue when it meets Monday, August 12.

Morse said, “I think it’s a serious problem around here.”

However, Alderwoman Morse explained she has mixed feelings on the subject.

“I can see both sides of it. I think it’s pitiful the state hasn’t addressed this. We discuss this at pharmacy meetings every year.”

She stated the majority of the population is being penalized for what a minority of the population is doing.

Alderwoman Morse said, “If you are sick on Saturday night or Sunday (when doctors offices are closed), and you feel awful, you better hope your friends have some (cold medicine).

“I can’t tell you I’m for it or against it. I really have mixed emotions on it. And, I’m really glad I don’t have to vote on it.

Alderman Mike Morris asked if she would be able to write a prescription for products containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, as suggested by T. B. I. Agent Tommy Farmer and Winchester Chief of Police Dennis Young, during the board’s July meeting.

She said, “No. Not at this time. Not until they change the law. I will have no control over it whatsoever.”

On the other hand, Alderwoman Morse stated with other Weakley County municipalities passing the ordinance, if Gleason has no such ordinance, all of the meth cooks would be coming to Gleason to get the products they need. However, Morse noted, she only sells these products to her regular customers, anyway.

The ordinance states in part:

“The Mayor and Board of Alderman of the City of Gleason recognize that the clandestine manufacture of the illegal drug methamphetamine has become a scourge on our community, and persons engaged in the clandestine methamphetamine manufacture and use routinely endanger innocent children, their neighbors, and innocent citizens.

“Ten innocent children in 2012 had to be placed into foster care because of methamphetamine/ drug related child abuse and neglect in the last year in Gleason and Weakley County alone, costing taxpayers $110 per child per day for foster care services.

“Five houses in 2011 and three in 2012 have been quarantined as a result of meth labs.

“The environmental impact upon the City of Gleason and Weakley County from the hazardous waste generated by these labs is estimated to be over $35,000 in property damage and the impact is upon innocent victims.

“Tennessee generally, and City of Gleason specifically, have become known to drug enforcement officials for the high incidence of illicit manufacture, sale, and use of methamphetamine.

“The Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Gleason believes there is a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare in that the manufacture, transportation, possession and sale of methamphetamine is inherently dangerous, and that the chemicals, compounds, substances, byproducts and wastes associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine are both dangerous and injurious to the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Gleason.

“The Board of Mayor and Aldermen do believe, hereby find and determine that the limitations hereinafter adopted will assist the City in its efforts to combat the criminal activity associated with the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine in the City, and will not unduly restrict legitimate businesses or customers from selling or buying these products.”

The civil penalties section of the ordinance states: “Any City of Gleason sworn law enforcement officer is hereby empowered to issue a citation to any person for any violation of the provisions of this section. Citations shall be issued in person to the alleged violator and shall direct the alleged violator to appear in City Court on a specific day and at a specific hour stated upon the citation. Citations issued for a violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be tried in the City Court. The City Court Judge shall determine whether a defendant has committed a violation of this section. The City shall bear the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence. If a defendant pleads guilty or “no contest” to the alleged violation, or is found guilty by the City Court Judge, the City Court Judge shall assess a civil monetary fine as a penalty against any person found to have violated any of the provisions of this section, said fine to be in an amount of $50 for each violation. Each day of violation shall be deemed a separate violation. Each separate package containing any substance containing any ephedrine as defined herein shall be deemed a separate violation. In addition to the civil monetary fine, any defendant who pleads guilty or “no contest” to the alleged violation, or who is found guilty by the City Court Judge, shall be assessed court costs as provided by law. Appeal may be had as provided by law.”

The ordinance will be considered on second reading during the September 12th board meeting.

City Wheel Tax

On a split vote of 4-1, Gleason Board members approved a resolution authorizing the Weakley County Clerk’s office to collect the City of Gleason’s wheel tax.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gleason would pay the County Clerk’s office a fee of $1 per sticker issued and a 5.0 percent commission on all motor vehicle regulatory fees collected by the City of Gleason.

The resolution states, the city sticker fee is collected as citizens renew their license plates.

Gleason’s current city sticker fees are $30 for most vehicles, $50 for 3/4 ton or larger trucks, and $20 for motorcycles.

City Recorder Angela Hunt stated, currently, the city stickers come due January 1 of each year and must be collected by February 28. The resolution changes this requirement, and stipulates the city stickers must be renewed when citizens renew their automobile tags. She notes this spreads the influx of revenue from this source out over the year, rather than concentrating it into a couple of months.

Alderman Connell stated he believes Gleason should continue collecting the fees rather than contract it out to the County Clerk’s office.

“I just don’t think it’ll work,” Connell said.

“Every other city in the county is doing it, so apparently it’s working,” Alderman Bookout said.

When the question was called on the motion to approve the resolution, Alderman Connell cast the only “no” vote.

Fire Department Medevac Callouts

Gleason Fire Chief Jerry Connell informed board members that when Weakley County EMS calls for an air ambulance to land to airlift a patient, due to a medical emergency, local firefighters are paged out to establish a landing zone for the helicopter.

Chief Connell stated Gleason

firefighters are not being compensated for this type of call-out, and requested the board allow the Fire Department to pay them for establishing a landing zone.

It was noted the firefighters were paid for the service in the past, but approximately three or four years ago, it was discontinued, due to the City going through a rough economic time. The firefighters volunteered to perform the service for free, because it is a public safety issue. However, now that the City is in better fiscal condition, they are asking to be paid for the service.

Chief Connell stated firefighters are paid $25 per fire call, and would receive $20 for establishing a landing zone, providing the pay is reinstated.

The board unanimously approved the pay request on a motion by Alderman Connell and second by Alderman Mike Morris.

Department Reports

Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood stated, during the past month, the Gleason Police Department officers issued 12 state warrants, 47 city citations issued, but no juvenile petitions. A total of $3,239.79 was collected in fines, court costs, litigation tax and driving school fees.

In the public works report, submitted by Dale Stephens, it was noted Gleason Public Works Department is concentrating on cleaning up the town in preparation for the Tater Town Special. This includes extra mowing and hedge trimming. Stephens states tree trimming from streets has been going on for the past couple of weeks and the public is encouraged to contact Gleason City Hall if they have tree limbs hanging down along the street that need trimming. Additionally, local residents are asked to do a little extra yard cleaning in preparation for the event. Stephens requests citizens to stop blowing grass clippings on the sidewalks or in the streets, because it clogs the storm drains. “If you have clutter around your house, stack it out at the road and we will pick it up,” Stephens said.

Concerning the Parks and Recreation Department, Mayor Poole stated, this is Stacy Collins’ last season to serve as park director, and the City is accepting applications for the job, which begins in January.

Jacky Esch stated Gleason Rotary Club members would be cooking at the concessions stand at Snider Park during the summer ball season.

Mayor Poole stated Gleason Library has received grants to replace some of its computers.

Announcements

Mayor Poole requested each board member to be thinking about future goals and list possible improvements the City might make during the next four years to better serve local citizens. She asked that they prepare to discuss these goals at the September board meeting.

One example she mentioned is a farmer’s market.

Another possibility Alderman Bookout suggested was applying for grants to improve the sidewalks, which are in bad shape, or non-existent, in some areas.

Mayor Poole noted sidewalk improvements along paths children walk to school is of special importance, due to safety concerns.

Board members acknowledged this has been discussed before, but it was never pursued. One of the reasons for this was it is not a 100 percent grant. The Board agreed it’s worth learning more about the grants to see what can be done.

The Tater Town Special begins August 26 and continues through the end of August. The Gleason Board will be riding in the old fire truck during the Tater Town Special Parade scheduled for Saturday, August 31.

T he next board meeting is Thursday, September 12, 2013, beginning at 7 p. m.

Water and Sewer Rate increase in Gleason’s

FY 2013-2014 Budget

There is no property tax hike in the budget for fiscal year 2013-2014, as approved by members of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen, during their regular monthly meeting, Thursday, June 13, but the budget does include an increase in the water and sewer rates.

The board also heard reports and announcements.

FY 2013-2014 Budget

Board members unanimously approved the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, as presented, with Alderman Charles Bookout being absent.

In the new budget, the property tax rate remains unchanged at $1.39 per $100 of assessed value. However, there is a 3.0 percent increase in the water rate and a 3.0 percent increase in the sewer rate. The residential water rate is now $17.30 per 2,000 minimum gallons of usage; and the residential sewer rate, which is figured at half of the water rate, amounts to a minimum charge of $8.65. The combined minimum water and sewer rate equals $25.95 per month.

Total monies available from all funds amount to $1,278,335, and total expenditures are estimated to be $1,190,730.

A breakdown of money allocated for the City’s various funds in the FY 2013-2014 budget is as follows:

• In the General Fund, total revenues of $621,700, plus a fund balance of $20,000, gives the City a total of $641,700. Total projected expenditures in the General Fund amount to $621,182.

• The Drug Fund shows total revenues of $23,000, and a fund balance of $2,000, which amounts to $25,000 in total available funds. Total expenditures are estimated to be $23,000.

• Total revenue in the Water and Sewer Fund is estimated to be $323,765, and the fund balance is projected to be $20,000, for $343,765 in total available funds. Expenditures are listed at $323,678.

• In the Solid Waste Fund, total revenues are $181,370, fund balance is estimated at $20,000, which amounts to $201,370 in total available funds. Expenditures are estimated at $181,370.

• The State Street Fund shows projected revenues of $41,500, and a fund balance of $25,000, which equals $66,500 in total available funds. Expenditures are listed as $41,500.

Department Reports

In department reports, Assistant Police Chief David King stated, during the past month, there were four state warrants issued. The crimes listed in the warrants are for: assault, public intoxication, driving on revoked and theft of property. Additionally, a total of 42 city citations were issued for various offenses, including: 19 -speeding; four -financial responsibility (no auto insurance); three -driving license violations; six -seat belt violations; one -animal at large; one -reckless driving; two -registration violations; five -wheel tax violations, and one -light law. There were no juvenile petitions issued. Officer King stated local citizens are getting used to the new stop sign installed on Mill Street, and he has only had to issue a few warning tickets.

Gleason Fire Chief Jerry Connell reported firefighters responded to Gleason School after maintenance personnel inside the building accidentally set off a fire alarm. Gleason firefighters were also called to extinguish a car fire on Church Street and to establish a landing zone at Snider Park for a medical helicopter to land and transport a patient having a medical emergency.

Additionally, Chief Connell asked members of the Gleason Police Department to escort a convoy of pink fire trucks into town. He said they would arrive at approximately 3:30 p. m. Monday, June 24, and stop in front of Gleason School for a brief stay before moving to the next town. He explained that Pink Heals Organization would visit Weakley County on its famous pink fire trucks to promote breast cancer awareness and support. Cancer survivors and their families are encouraged to come out and show their support for the fight against cancer. (See separate article, “Pink Heals fire trucks to tour Weakley County.)

Mayor Diana Poole complimented City Recorder Angela Hunt for the highly detailed report she provided board members, showing where all of the money goes to operate city government.

Announcements

Addressing the board, local citizen Jackie Esch said, “I appreciate everyone of you very much, and the good job you’re doing.” Mr. Esch stated he expects Gleason to continue to flourish and prosper. He stated the clay processing industry located in the area would likely remain at Gleason, due to its central location to surrounding clay mines, and the high cost of shipping. He explained that it’s much more cost effective to process clay as close to the source of the raw materials as possible.

The board is scheduled to meet at 7 p. m., Thursday, June 27 to approve the second reading of the budget.

The next regular monthly meeting of the board is Thursday, July 11, at 7 p. m.

City of Gleason to Install Four-way Stop

Approves HVAC Purchase for Fire Department

The Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a new four-way stop, during their regular monthly meeting, Thursday, May 9.

Additionally, the board also approved purchasing a new air conditioner and ductwork for the Gleason Fire Department, and heard reports and announcements.

Four-Way Stop

Board members voted unanimously to convert a two-way stop at the intersection of Mill and Holland streets into a four-way stop.

Currently, drivers on Holland Street must stop at the intersection of Mill Street.

Alderwoman Kris Morse stated there are a lot of children in the area and the four-way stop would slow traffic and make it safer for pedestrians.

The installation of a “Four Way Stop Ahead” sign to warn motorists of the new four-way stop was also approved.

The board agreed to have an announcement printed on City water bills to inform local citizens about the new four-way stop.

According to City Recorder Angela Hunt, the signs could be installed as early as Wednesday, May 15.

Air Conditioning System

Gleason Fire Chief Jerry Connell stated the air conditioning unit at Gleason Fire Department has been inoperable for the past two years and needs to be replaced, now that a donated unit to take its place has stopped working and is beyond repair.

Connell said he wishes to purchase a three-ton air conditioning unit and ductwork to route the airflow where it is needed.

He noted the air conditioner could be purchased from Gleason Hardware at a cost of $727.70, the ductwork would cost $450, and installation is $75, for a total cost of $1,252.70.

 It was noted, because the air conditioning unit costs less than $2,500, it may be purchased without going through the bidding process.

Connell noted purchasing items locally, when this is possible, helps support local businesses.

The board unanimously approved the purchase on a motion by Alderman Mike Morris and second by Alderman Charles Bookout.

Department Reports

In department reports, Assistant Police Chief David King stated, during the past month, Gleason police officers issued three state warrants, 24 city citations, but no juvenile petitions.

“We’ve had complaints about speeding on East Grove Road, and we’ve written a couple of tickets there, but for the most part, everyone was pretty much driving the speed limit,” King said.

In the Public Works report, Mayor Diana Poole stated on Monday, May 6, OSHA inspected the Gleason Water Plant and issued a good report, saying the facility is clean and orderly.

In the Fire Department report, Chief Connell stated, during the month of April, firefighters extinguished a grass fire on Janes Mill Road, conducted driver’s training and attended a meeting.

City Recorder Angela Hunt stated a bake sale raised $233 for the Gleason Library.

Announcements

Mayor Poole said the rainy weather the past few times a citywide yard sale was held has decreased participation somewhat, but everything considered, “they did pretty good.”

The next regular monthly meeting of the Gleason Board is Thursday, June 13, at 7 p. m.

Gleason Board Discusses Security Measures and

Website Development

 

The installation of security measures at Gleason City Hall was among the many topics of discussion during the regular monthly meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Thursday, April 11. Other items on the agenda included: the possible future use of hand-held police speed cameras; developing a Website for the City of Gleason; adding Internet security to the City’s insurance policy; the status of UT Martin’s recycling trailer; and department reports and announcements.

Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood stated he continues to research the installation of additional security measures at Gleason City Hall.

Chief Hazlewood said he is in the process of obtaining prices on security glass and security doors to be installed in the front lobby of City Hall, to protect city employees in the event of an altercation.

He stated fingerprint locks on security doors would cost approximately $800.

Speed Cameras

Chief Hazlewood stated he is still researching the possibility of using portable, hand-held speed cameras, but is not ready to recommend their use at this time.

Hazlewood said he wishes to speak with officials in more local towns to see what they have to say about the system before proceeding further.

Specifically, he mentioned consulting with the City of McKenzie about the issue.

City Website

Local citizen, April Lieberman, gave board members an update on the status of the volunteer work she is doing to develop a Website for the City of Gleason.

Lieberman stated she is collecting data and needs more information from members of the community to complete the project.

To keep jobs and shopping local, she mentioned posting a free business directory on the Website listing the goods and services offered by area businesses. Lieberman stated this would provide local citizens with the information about who in the area offers what services (electrical, plumbing, auto repair, carpentry, etc.), and what types of goods are offered at local stores and shops. Phone numbers, addresses, days and hours of operation of these local businesses would also be listed.

This is in addition to official information provided on the Website concerning local governmental offices and departments; the names of public officials and how to contact them; a list and description of city services; public meeting times, dates and locations; local events, such as parades, carnivals, citywide yard sales, fund-raisers, and other activities; sporting activities, including playing schedules, who to contact for team tryouts; and other useful information.

Lieberman stated she is also working on the design and layout of the Website.

Once the project is completed, she noted it typically costs $170-$180 per year for a company to host the Website.

Lieberman added she would volunteer her time to keep the City’s Website current, once it is developed and becomes operational.

She encourages anyone with information useful for the business directory or other community information to contact her at her email address 

Alderwoman Kris Morse said, “I appreciate what you’ve done. You’ve put a lot of time into this.”

Other board members shared the sentiment and gave Lieberman the green light to continue developing the City’s Website.

Internet Security

A proposal to add Internet security to the City’s TML insurance policy was tabled for further study.

City Recorder Angela Hunt explained the City of Gleason recently renewed its insurance policy with TML and the representative mentioned it would be possible to add Internet security onto the policy at a cost of approximately $792 annually. This would provide liability insurance protecting the City in the event of a lawsuit over the loss of personal information, due to the system being hacked by Internet thieves who use such information to steal people’s identity. However, the policy carries a $25,000 deductible.

The board agreed to table the proposal until the insurance agent can come to talk to the board and explain the details of the policy.

Hunt said she would contact the agent and ask him to address the board during the next meeting.

UT Martin’s Recycling Trailer

Board members mentioned several local citizens have contacted them and expressed their desire for the City to bring back the UT Martin recycling trailer, because it is something they use and provides a valuable service to the community.

UT Martin previously delivered the recycling trailer to Gleason, picked it up, emptied it at the sorting center, and returned the trailer. However, due to financial cutbacks, the program no longer has the funds to deliver and pick up the trailer. For this reason, if the City of Gleason wishes to use the trailer, city employees must transport it back and forth between the City and UT Martin.

Board members agreed the recycling trailer is worth keeping.

Alderman Jerry Connell stated he plans on getting another empty trailer when one becomes available and bringing it to Gleason to continue the service.

Department Reports

In department reports, Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood stated, during the month of March, there were: three state warrants issued, 31 city citations written, but no juvenile petitions. Total fines collected amount to $1,994.15. Of this amount, $314.15 was collected in fines, $1,147.50 in court costs, $82.50 in litigation tax, and $450 in driving school fees.

Fire Chief Jerry Connell stated the only fire call Gleason firefighters responded to was on Parks Well Road, which turned out to be a false alarm. He mentioned Gleason Fire Department is hosting a chicken cookout at the fire station, Saturday, May 11, which is a fundraiser for the department. He noted there is also car wash at the fire station on that date, sponsored by Gleason High School students. Connell said on May 18, a local softball team is holding a car wash at the fire station.

In the Parks and Recreation report, Mayor Diana Poole said the summer sports season is “in full swing” at Snider Park.

Announcements

In announcements, Mayor Poole stated the next citywide yard sale is Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4.

A Library Bake Sale is on Saturday, May 4.

A citywide cleanup is scheduled for Monday, May 6, at which time debris will be picked up curbside.

A Health Fair will be held Saturday, May 11, featuring numerous free health checks. Some of the events include: a medical helicopter landing and being on display in downtown Gleason; free health screenings, including blood pressure checks, mammograms, diabetes screening, and cholesterol checks. Law enforcement will provide several educational programs -two featuring drug dogs, one about gang activity, and another concerning drug activity. The Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse will have a display during the Health Fair. And April Lieberman offered to set up a booth to provide local citizens who cannot afford to buy prescription medication with the information they need to get free prescriptions. A schedule giving times and locations of these events will be made available to the public prior to the Health Fair.

The next regular monthly board meeting is Thursday, May 9 at 7 p. m.  Source: Dresden Enterprise.

Gleason Board Approves Hiring New Police Officer

Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood (left) swears in Jerry Wilson as the newest member of the Gleason Police Department, during last Thursday night’s city board meeting.

During the regular monthly meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Thursday, March 14, members hired a new police officer. They also heard a presentation concerning the use of mobile radar devices, heard the results of a lighting study conducted by TVA, learned about the services offered by the engineering and architectural firm of TML & Associates of Jackson, discussed additional security measures at Gleason City Hall, and heard department reports and announcements.

On the recommendation of Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood, the board unanimously approved hiring Jerry Wilson as a police officer to fill a vacancy in the department. Wilson, who has 37 years of law enforcement experience, officially resigned his position as police chief of Sharon Friday morning. Prior to this, he served a police chief of Dresden, and other positions in law enforcement over the years. He has worked with members of the Gleason Police Department in the past, and his professionalism is well known among these officers, who welcomed him on the force. After being hired, Wilson was immediately sworn in by Chief Hazlewood.

Mobile Radar Device

In another police-related matter, John McConnell, with Applied Technology Partners, Inc., informed the board about the equipment and services the Nashville-based firm offers to municipalities across the state. McConnell displayed a mobile, handheld radar unit and said, if the city utilizes the services offered by his company, it would receive 50 percent of the revenue generated by speeding tickets and his company would receive the other 50 percent for use of its equipment.

The tickets may be issued by the officers at the time of the incident, or mailed to the speeders. Applied Technology Partners also does all of the billing for tickets issued using the unit.

By using his firm, McConnell explained none of the ticket money goes to the state or other governmental entities and the city keeps half of the revenues. Also, the tickets do not count against motorists’ driving records, and would not affect their insurance rates, as regular tickets do. He said the maximum fine allowable through a private firm is $50. He noted the cities of McKenzie and Dover have contracts with his firm and it’s working well for them.

Additionally, McConnell said there is no contract, so if the city decides the system is not working to their liking, it would not be a problem -just notify the company and they would pick up their equipment.

Chief Hazlewood stated he has not made up his mind whether or not to recommend using the company at this time. But, if the city eventually decides to use the firm’s services, it would be on a very limited basis, with one officer paid with Governor’s Highway Safety funds operating the unit at a school zone for a few hours per day, such as when students are arriving and departing school in the mornings and evenings. This would help reduce speeding in school zones, which he said is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Chief Hazlewood noted the radar system could augment, but not replace, the existing speed enforcement system currently in use.

TVA Lighting Study

Elizabeth Jones informed the board about the results of a cost study to replace the city’s existing fluorescent lighting system, which is now obsolete. She stated the ballasts and T-12 light bulbs are no longer manufactured and once existing supplies are exhausted, they will not be available.

Jones stated she has priced a more modern lighting product to replace the existing system that is much lower in cost than using LED lights, which are four times as expensive.

She gave the board a breakdown of the costs for materials and labor for each city building, in case the city wishes to use its own labor to install the new fixtures and bulbs. She then deducted the amount TVA will contribute for replacing the system with energy efficient lighting.

Additionally, Jones informed the board of the cost for refitting all of the buildings with new lighting, which amounts to $6,553 for all materials, $9,068 for labor, minus $1,303 in TVA refunds, for a total cost of $14,318.

If the city uses its own labor to install the lighting system, it would cost $5,250 for all city buildings, which includes city hall, fire department, library, and maintenance shop.

Jones stated the city could replace the lighting one building at a time to spread out the cost.

The modern lighting is more energy efficient and will save the city money in energy costs.

The board took the information under advisement, but was not prepared to take any action at this time.

TML & Associates

Randy McKinnon, principal engineer with the engineering and architectural firm of TML & Associates in Jackson, described the services offered by his firm.

He said the company, which is composed of 34 employees, including six licensed engineers and six licensed architects, has 49 years experience working with a wide assortment of public and private projects.

This includes large municipal and county school projects funded by various government grants.

He stated most of the work TML does is in the rural counties outside of Memphis and Nashville.

McKinnon mentioned his firm is currently under contract with Henry County to build tornado-proof storm shelters inside their schools.

Additionally, TML has done the work for the City of Martin, including the downtown renovation project and the water park adjacent to Martin City Hall.

City Hall Security Measures

Chief Hazlewood mentioned looking into procuring security glass and a security door to separate the front office from the lobby, to improve security.

He cited past examples where the office staff was put at risk from irate citizens who were angry about things that had nothing to do with the operation of city hall, but dealt with the police department.

Hazlewood noted people have been arrested in the past, due to violent behavior that threatened the city recorder and secretary.

Chief Hazlewood said he would price the glass and security door and report back to the board at a later date.

Water & Sewer -Self-Supporting

Mayor Diana Poole stated, under state regulations, the city’s water and sewer department is required to be self-supporting through the money raised from water and sewer bills. She noted, if this department is shown not to be self-supporting for two years in a row, the state will come in and set the city’s water and sewer rates at a rate they decide is adequate to make the department self-supporting, which may be much higher than what the city would set it.

It was noted the city is out of compliance about every other year, but was okay last year. This year, it is not known if the city will be in compliance or not.

Since the city has two years to correct the problem, if it arises, no action was taken to raise the rates. However, board members did agree to do a study to determine the status of the fund and to keep a close eye on it to prevent problems from developing.

City Recorder Angela Hunt cautioned depreciation of property and equipment counts against the city as an expense and must be factored in to the calculations.

Department Reports

In department reports, Public Works Department Supervisor Dale Stephens stated there is a problem with the road surface at the intersection of Carlton and College streets that must be repaired.

“It’ll soon be where you can’t drive on it,” Stephens said. He noted the street no longer has a crown (high spot) in the middle of the road as it once did and is not draining properly. It is quickly deteriorating and won’t last much longer. With this in mind, Stephens said he would get prices for repairing the problem.

Fire Chief Jerry Connell stated there were no fires in the past month. However, firefighters trained on the firefighting equipment, and set up a landing zone for a medical helicopter at Snider Park. Chief Connell also announced the department is hosting a “chicken cook” fundraiser Saturday, May 4.

Mayor Poole said Gleason High School teams have begun playing ball at the ball fields at Snider Park. She stated the concession stand needed a refrigerator and Coca-Cola donated an ice chest, which meets the need nicely.

Announcements

In announcements, Weakley County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Virgin announced the Carl Perkins Center Taste of Weakley and Obion Counties fundraiser at Volunteer Distributing Co. Inc. in Dresden, begins at 5:30 p. m. Saturday, March 23.

Mayor Poole stated Gleason’s City Wide Yard Sale is May 3-4, and vendors are welcome to set up booths in the downtown area. Everyone is invited to attend.

The next board meeting is Thursday, April 11, at 7 p. m. Source: Dresden Enterprise

Gleason Board Approves Hiring New Police Officers
 

Several Gleason Police officers were present to congratulate the three newly hired officers and welcome them to the force. The two full-time officers hired were Adam Ledezma and David Sliger, and the part-time officer is Jim Derrington, Jr. Those pictured are (l to r): Assistant Police Chief David King with K-9 partner Ruin, Constable Richard Black, Ptl. Jim Derrington, Ptl. David Sliger, Chaplin Tony Terrell, Police Chief Jeff Hazelwood, Ptl. Adam Ledezma, and Sgt. John Hilliard with K-9 partner Hunter.

Several Gleason Police officers were present to congratulate the three newly hired officers and welcome them to the force. The two full-time officers hired were Adam Ledezma and David Sliger, and the part-time officer is Jim Derrington, Jr. Those pictured are (l to r): Assistant Police Chief David King with K-9 partner Ruin, Constable Richard Black, Ptl. Jim Derrington, Ptl. David Sliger, Chaplin Tony Terrell, Police Chief Jeff Hazelwood, Ptl. Adam Ledezma, and Sgt. John Hilliard with K-9 partner Hunter.

During a called meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Tuesday, February 19, members approved hiring three new Gleason Police Department officers.

According to Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazelwood, the vacancies filled by the new officers are due to one officer resigning and another being fired for cause. The third position is for an additional part-time officer as needed, because some of the part-time officers are not always available for duty, due to scheduling conflicts. He explained some of the part-time officers work full-time jobs as Weakley County Sheriff’s deputies, and work part-time for the Gleason Police Department when they can.

The additional part-time employee will not increase the total number of man-hours worked by Gleason Police officers, Hazelwood stated. It only ensures there will be enough officers to cover all shifts due to illness, injury or other factors.

The hiring process began with a field of 40 applicants, which was reduced to the top five before they were narrowed down to the three officers who were eventually hired.

On the recommendation of Chief Hazelwood, the board voted unanimously to hire 25-year-old Adam Ledezma and 36-year-old David Sliger as full-time officers, and 66-year-old Jim Derrington, Jr. as a part-time officer.

Chief Hazelwood stated Officer Ledezma graduated from Walters State Basic Law Enforcement Officer Academy in Tazewell, Tennessee three months ago.

“Officer Ledezma will participate in a six-month field training officer program, and will be riding with a certified officer during this time, as we’re training him,” said Chief Hazelwood. “Then he will be released to work on his own. There is a grant we found that will pay up to $4,000 for his extra training. It’s better to pair them with a field-training officer right out of the academy. They’ve been doing that in Martin and all of the big departments for years, and it’s worked really well.”  

Officer Ledezma resides in Dresden with his wife and two children, and is in the process of moving to Gleason.

Officer Sliger was promoted to a full-time position, after having worked for the Gleason Police Department over the past weeks, as a part-time officer. Sliger’s on-the-job experience also includes over 14 years as a police officer with the University of Tennessee’s Department of Public Safety. Sliger resides in Martin with his wife and three children.

Officer Derrington, who was hired as a part-time officer, is a Navy veteran with prior police training and service. His law enforcement experience includes working for a police department in Indiana, Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Martin Police Department, and Weakley County Police Department. He then worked at Goodyear for several years, until the plant closed. Now, he wants to work in law enforcement part-time.

“He just wants to get out and help people,” said Chief Hazelwood. “I worked with him years ago, and he is a fantastic officer.”

Chief Hazelwood explained, because he has been out of law enforcement for a while, he will be required to attend 80 hours of in-service training, in order to work part-time for up to 80 hours per week.

Officer Derrington, who resides in Hornbeak with his wife, is looking for property just outside Gleason where the couple can move and ride horses, Hazelwood said.

“We want to recruit and retain high quality people,” Hazelwood said.

As far as job satisfaction is concerned, Chief Hazelwood said, “Everyone who has ever worked he (for a job somewhere else) has told me they wish they’d never left.”

Gleason Police Department now consists of five full-time and four part-time officers.

“All of the officers I have now are certified,” Hazelwood said. “The days of the part-time uncertified officers are over.” Source: Dresden Enterprise.

 

 

Gleason Board Approves Five Percent Solid Waste Rate Hike:
Director of Community Development Appointed

By David Fisher

Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood (left) presents a badge to Officer John Hilliard, as he is promoted to the rank of sergeant. Chief Hazlewood noted Sgt. Hilliard has worked for Gleason Police Department for the past three years, and during this time, his service has been commendable.

Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood (left) presents a badge to Officer John Hilliard, as he is promoted to the rank of sergeant. Chief Hazlewood noted Sgt. Hilliard has worked for Gleason Police Department for the past three years, and during this time, his service has been commendable.


The citizens of Gleason will soon see an increase on their monthly solid waste disposal bill, due to a rate hike by the city’s service provider.

During the regular monthly meeting of the Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Thursday, February 14, members also discussed other important issues, including: appointing a community development director, the sale of surplus property, installing a practice golf-driving range at Snider Park, and whether or not to continue utilizing UT Martin’s recycling trailer. The board also heard reports and announcements. 

Solid Waste Rate Hike 

Board members discussed the city’s options regarding a contract renewal with Barker Brothers Waste, Inc., after hearing from the company’s division manager, Brian Barker.

Basically, there are two main options considered by the board.

One option is to renew the same services the city is currently receiving, which includes weekly curbside solid waste pickup at local homes and businesses, plus the large dumpster at Gleason City Shop. The cost for continuing this service involves a 5.0 percent rate increase.

A second option is to continue the curbside service for residential and commercial customers, but discontinue using the dumpster. This option involves a 4.0 percent rate hike.

After much discussion, the board decided to continue the residential and commercial curbside pickup service and also keep the large dumpster. The five-year contract also locks in the current fuel service fee of $3.90 per customer, per month, for a 12-month period.

The current minimum weekly residential solid waste disposal fee is $9.70, which includes the fuel service charge.

Under the new contract agreement, a 5.0 percent fee increase amounts to an additional $0.49 per month, for a total minimum bill of $10.19 per residential customer. 

Community Development Director Appointment 

On the recommendation of Gleason Mayor Diana Poole, the board voted to appoint Ms. April Lieberman as community development director for the City of Gleason.

Mayor Poole stressed the job is a non-paid, volunteer position Ms. Lieberman is willing to do to help the city.

Lieberman stated one of the projects she is researching is the development of a website to promote the positive things the city has to offer to potential residents and businesses that move to the area. The website’s menu breaks down the city’s various departments and, when completed, would have the ability to allow citizens to pay bills owed to the city online.

Officer David King stated this would be especially helpful for those residing in other areas, who wish to pay traffic citations or other fines online. He said the money would be electronically transferred into the city’s bank account, just as it would for customers purchasing goods and services online at other websites using credit or debit cards.

When Alderman Charles Bookout raised concerns over online security regarding money transfers, Mayor Poole stated Gerald Ellis, a local citizen who retired from a high-profile law enforcement cyber-crime unit, has agreed to offer his services free of charge to make sure any electronic money transfer system the city wishes to install is secure.

Lieberman stated it would cost little to nothing to set up the website, and the annual maintenance fee would be approximately $180-$190.

She noted the city would own the website and Lieberman would keep it updated with the latest events and community announcements.

On a motion by Alderman Bookout, the board tabled the issue until the board has time to find out more about the proposed website.

“Thank you for the opportunity,” Lieberman said concerning her appointment as Gleason’s community development director. “I look forward to working with all of the departments. I’m happy to help you on any project.”

Lieberman stated she moved back to Gleason after residing elsewhere for 25 years, and during her absence, she came to appreciate what a great place Gleason is to live. 

Surplus Property Sale

 Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood informed the board there are several vehicles at the city shop he would like to declare surplus property and sell. Additionally, he requested the money from the sale go into Gleason Police Department’s Drug Fund.

After hearing a brief description of each vehicle, the board voted to sell the city’s oldest police vehicle to Constable Richard Black for $1,500. Chief Hazlewood said because Black is a constable, he is considered a governmental entity, and the city can legally sell him the vehicle without taking bids. Black does a lot of volunteer work for the city, including patrolling school zones and providing other public services, according to Hazlewood.

The board voted to declare three other vehicles, including a Chevrolet Camaro, Jeep Cherokee and a 1994 Ford pickup truck, as surplus property and sell them to the highest bidder.

Board members agreed that all of the proceeds from the surplus auto sales would go into Gleason Police Department’s Drug Fund, as requested.

 Golf Driving Range 

Gleason Rotary Club member Ronnie Arnold addressed the board to ask permission to utilize a portion of Snider Park, located on the east side of the field, for use as a practice golf-driving range, as a fundraiser for the club.

Arnold stated the range would be used on an occasional basis, and would not be a professional golf-driving range, which would cost too much money to operate.

Arnold said the field would ideally be seeded with rye grass to provide a good surface for the range.

The board voted to allow the fundraiser to take place as requested by the Gleason Rotary Club. 

UT Martin Recycling Trailer

 Public Works Supervisor Dale Stephens stated UT Martin has a recycling trailer at the city shop, which is used to haul recyclable materials. He explained, when the 16-foot-long trailer became full, someone from UT Martin would come and pick up the trailer, empty it, and return it to the shop.

However, UTM has informed the city, due to budget restrictions, it can no longer pick the trailer up and bring it back to Gleason.

For the trailer to continue to be utilized, Gleason Public Works employees must haul the trailer to UTM when it is full, help empty it, and bring it back.

Stephens said it costs the city approximately $30 in fuel costs and wages each time the trailer is dumped and brought back to Gleason.

During discussion, it was mentioned UTM makes money off of the recycled materials, and certain board members questioned the logic of the city paying for hauling the trailer back and forth for UTM.

With this in mind, the board voted to table the issue for further study before making a decision.

 Department Reports

 In department reports, Gleason Police Chief Jeff Hazlewood stated he is in the interviewing process to fill a vacant position. He noted 35 applications were submitted and he has narrowed the field down to five candidates. However, Chief Hazlewood said he is not ready to make a recommendation at this time concerning who he wishes to hire, because he is still researching the possibility of obtaining grant funding.

Officer David King stated if the Gleason Police Department completes the proper paperwork to become a vendor, it could receive grant funding for 320-480 hours of on-the-job training (up to $4,000 in wages) for candidates who meet the criteria.

If approved for the grant, Gleason Police Department would be required to submit a lesson plan showing what the officer is being taught each week.

Chief Hazlewood stated when he decides on a candidate, it might be necessary for the board to have a called meeting to consider hiring the new officer. The board voted to table the issue for the present.

Additionally, Chief Hazlewood stated he is promoting Officer John Hilliard to the rank of sergeant, after three years of commendable service on the police force. He noted there is no pay increase with the promotion, but by promoting Hilliard, the officer is eligible to serve as a shift sergeant, which is much needed to cover all shifts.

Public Works Supervisor Dale Stephens stated the water tank on Gibbs Street is repaired and back in use after being out of service for four months.

Additionally, Stephens said it was discovered there were certain components regulating water depth in the water tank on Highway 22 that were never installed when the water tank was erected. For this reason, city workers installed the necessary components, and the tank now functions correctly. Also, he noted water testing of the tank indicates the water inside of the tank is clean.

Stephens stated a new metal roof was recently installed on the building at Huggins Park and it looks great.

Fire Chief Jerry Connell stated there were no house fires during the past month, but firefighters established four landing zones for helicopters to land during medical emergencies. Chief Connell also mentioned the fire department is selling cooked chicken May 4, which is the same day of Gleason’s citywide yard sale.

 Announcements

 In announcements, Mayor Poole mentioned City Recorder Angela Hunt would be in Nashville, Friday, February 22, to receive her official certification as a certified municipal finance officer (CMFO), after having successfully completed a mandatory two-year financial management course at UT Martin.

The next city board meeting is Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. Source: Dresden Enterprise

 

Gleason Board Explores After-school Tutoring Program

at Public Library

By David Fisher

Staff Reporter

As the regular monthly meeting of Gleason’s newly elected board got underway, Thursday, December 13, Gleason’s new mayor, Diana Poole, called the meeting to order. One of the top items on the agenda was using Gleason’s public library as the location for an afterschool tutoring program.

The board also discussed the possibility of installing a community garden at one of the city’s parks, purchasing a new traffic light in the downtown area, altering the holiday schedule for city employees, post office usage, purchasing Internet service for the Gleason Fire Department, applying for a sidewalk grant, Gleason City Recorder Angela Hunt completing a state mandated financial training program, and department reports and announcements.

After School Tutoring Program

Local citizen Doris Owen said, “The library is not being used very much at all.” She requested the board consider establishing an afterschool tutoring program for students struggling with certain subjects. She noted the Weakley County School System has no money to pay for such a program, but members of the BETA Club at Gleason School, who are required to complete 40 hours of community service, could tutor the children at the library.

During discussion, it was also mentioned it might be possible to obtain a grant to pay students to tutor those having difficulty in certain subjects. This type of grant pays $7 per hour to low-income students with GPAs of 90 or higher, for tutoring.

Members of the board agreed to discuss Mrs. Owen’s proposal with the Library Board and place the issue on the agenda for the January meeting. Source: Dresden Enterprise.

Gleason’s New Mayor & Board of Aldermen

Take Oath of Office 

 

New Mayor and Board

From Left: Returning Alderman Michael Ray "Moose" Morris, Vice Mayor Jerry S. Connell, Mayor Diana Poole, New Alderwoman Kris Morse, and New Alderman Charles Bookout.

Mayor Diana Poole and a new slate of Aldermen were sworn in to office at Gleason City Hall Nov. 25, 2012.  Poole is Gleason’s first female Mayor, having served as Vice Mayor on the Board of Aldermen for the past eight years. 

After being inducted by City Recorder Angela Hunt, Mayor Poole administered the oath of office to returning Alderman and new Vice Mayor Jerry S. Connell.  Connell also serves as the Chief of Gleason’s Fire Department. 

Gleason’s new Board of Aldermen has strong business credentials.  Returning to the Board is Alderman Michael Ray “Moose” Morris, fourth-generation owner of the Gleason Superette.  New Alderwoman Kris Morse runs her family’s Gleason City Drugstore and new Alderman Charles Bookout has decades experience with the Bank of Gleason.   All expressed enthusiasm for working together for the betterment of the town.

The new Mayor and Board of Aldermen will serve four-year terms to commence Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, with the first Board Meeting scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room at Gleason City Hall.

Standing-room only Gathering of Friends, Family and Well-wishers of the New Mayor and Board

 

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