Italy City Council takes no action regarding mayor and council compensation

In a called meeting on August 12, 2016, the Italy City Council after much discussion took no action regarding City Council and Mayor compensation. Council member Henry Wortman requested this be placed on the agenda. He said that in 2009 the council had been seen in a bad light by the media when the council gave themselves and the mayor a raise. He said he felt the Mayor and Council deserved to be compensated for the job they were doing. He suggested the council reinstate this by compensation to the mayor and council members.

“The mayor could receive a discount for his water bill of 98% not to exceed $90 per month and the council members could receive a discount of 55% not to exceed $60 per month.”

“I understand your thought process,” said Troy Kowalsky. “I just can’t justify it. I ran for council voluntarily to try to make a difference here. I am against it.”

Mayor Steven Farmer said, “I ran to fix this town and to make a difference. I appreciate your thought but at the end of the day it is for all of you.”

On April 13, 2009 the council adopted an ordinance to pay the Mayor $15,600 per year ($600 bi-weekly) and the each council member $120 each quarter. On September 15, 2014 the council voted to suspend payment to the mayor and council when their current terms expired.

After discussion, the council took no action.

Genero Duron, Jr. requested approval to install a fence on his property adjacent to Sims Road. The council postponed their vote to refer the issue to the city attorney.

On the agenda an item was stated, “Discuss and consider necessary action(s) regarding the penalty fee for no permit being pulled for the building of the Cargill-Gallman Pavillion.”

“We need to amend this to read the pavillion at Upchurch Field. We need to discuss this and yall need to know what is going on.”

Troy Kowalsky explained they could not discuss this unless it was stated properly on the agenda. After discussion the item was postponed until the next meeting so the wording would be legal.

During Citizens Comments, Charles Hyles addressed the council. He has been President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for the past two years. He said he would like to continue to serve on the EDC and so would the other members whose terms had expired. He said the current board had accomplished so much and would like to see other projects completed. The Council unanimously voted to reappoint Charles Hyles, Randy Boyd, Darrell Rosemond and Elmerine Bell to the Economic Development Corporation for two year terms each. Tina Haight, Mickey Bland and Amber Cunningham will continue to serve another year until their terms expire.

The council also approved an ordinance adopting the 2015 versions of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code, International Fire Code and International Fuel Gas Code. Paul Shearin said this would bring our codes up to date and protect our citizens from a higher tax rate.

The council approved the proposed tax rate for Fiscal Year 2016-2017. This will keep the taxes the same as last year.

Jessie Castro addressed the council regarding rumors that apartments were going to be built at the end of Wood Street in the field. He stated he is opposed to this because it would affect him and his neighbors.

Joan Grabowski requested a street sign be installed on Dallas Street across from the cemetery. She said it has been missing for at least 15 years and she had made this request previously.

During Mayor comments, Farmer ended the meeting by thanking the department heads and employees for the job they are doing. He added it is nice to see where we have come from in the last two years.