During last week’s meeting of the Oneonta City Council, Twila Alexander requested help in filling a pothole on her road. She explained the city had worked the road a few years back but now the repaired pothole has returned and grown.
City manager Ed Lowe explained to the council that the road is not a city designated street, only an easement. He said that under state law, the city cannot work the road. Alexander questioned how the city was able to act previously and why she has garbage collection on the road if it is not a city street.
Lowe countered that at one time the city had worked such roads under the theory that city services were being provided. He noted changes in state ethics laws and explained that the garbage collection was a service for which Alexander paid and that were as if she had invited the company to use the road.
As councilors questioned Alexander further, Lowe then suggested that based on her report that the city had worked the pothole previously, he might be able to offer help. Under that reasoning, Lowe said that since Alexander claims the pothole the city worked is the problem and that it is now worse than before, the city could repair just the pothole. The reasoning would thus be that the city had made the problem worse and would now be correcting its previous action.
Mayor Ross Norris asked Alexander to meet with Lowe to work out details for the repair. Lowe noted the best solution would be to have adjacent property owners cede the city property to permit a 60-foot right of way and then petition to have the road accepted as a designated city street. That decision would, however, be at council discretion and on its willingness to accept the road in its existing condition.
In other business, the council approved a 14-day employee holiday schedule for the 2015 calendar year. Those days correspond to the state approved dates for New Year’s, Martin Luther King-Robert E. Lee, Presidents Day, Confederate Memorial, National Memorial, Jefferson Davis’s birthday, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The last two holidays are scheduled for both Thursdays and Fridays.
In the councilor comment portion of the meeting, most thanked Alexander for bringing the matter to the council. They noted that this is one means to keep them informed of citizen concerns.
Councilor Tonya Rogers announced firefighters recognized at the department’s annual banquet. Dalton Teal received the Chief’s Merit Award and Josh Lozinski was named “Firefighter of the Year.”
After the comments portion, the council recessed into executive session to discuss pending legal matters. Norris assured attendees that the only council action to follow the executive session would be adjournment.
All members (Norris, Rogers, Hal Blackwood, Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, and Danny Robinson) attended the Dec. 23 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.